People whom I don’t hate

I like using whom, not because I’m trying to be a prescriptivist, but because I learned the prescriptivist grammar rule, and I know it, and I kind of like it, so I like using it. How’s that for defending myself for using ‘whom’ as a self-described linguist?

I received this comment a while ago, and I remember getting a notification for it but then quickly forgot. I read it tonight.

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After reading through almost every entry you’ve written here….. I don’t hate you. If you knew me personally you wouldn’t hate me either, then if I explained my worldview and shared some opinions you would hate me quite a bit. I don’t hate you at all though, I might even love you in a way for being a good wife and mother. Even though I think much of your outlook is wrong and harmful so far it seems like your major decisions in life are good. You’re married, you have children, you love them all quite a bit and do your best for them. And as long as you stay committed to your family the hate in this is all on your side, I have no negative feelings towards you. I’m happy you’re doing things right in life, outside of your family everything else is just useless noise. I’m going to stick around for now, maybe I’ll move on and forget you eventually but I’m still interested in seeing how your intellectual journey goes from here. Cheers -M

Allow me to address you directly, MW.

Your comment has a lot of projection going on within it. Do you believe that your values are worthy of hating? Maybe you should change your values.

My values are pretty simple. And I’m a fairly forgiving person because I know that learning to be antiracist requires a tremendous amount of self-reflection that many people are unwilling to do. Or, at the very least, they don’t realize that they need to do any self-reflection at all. Self-reflection requires critical thinking skills, something that is hard to teach unless you know how to teach effectively, which in and of itself is a skill. Skill on top of skill on top of skill… it’s hard all around. From my observation of the world, these skills are neither encouraged nor well developed. Few people acquire them, few people realize the value, and few people want to put in the work to get good at it.

What are my values? Harm none. That’s pretty much it. You do you, live your life, and let people live their lives as long as they’re harming none: not people, not environment, not animals. Beyond that, I don’t care what you do. Be whoever you want to be. Live the life that makes you happy.

But don’t live a life that actively seeks to put people into some box that is arbitrarily decided upon. You don’t have to like how other people live. It’s not your life and it’s not your decision. And their decisions don’t affect your life, if you’re following the harm none value.

There are a lot of strange and different ways of living in the world. I’m not about to list the lifestyles I find not to my liking because it doesn’t really matter. If they’re harming none, they can do whatever the fuck they like. Doesn’t matter to me cuz it doesn’t affect me.

But once people start putting their values onto others that causes harm to their lifestyle, that’s when I start having problems.

So, MW, are you the type of person who wants to force your values onto others in a way that causes them harm? If you understand your values to be framed like that, then why is that your value? Do you really actively seek to harm people? You should ask yourself why. Why do you want to harm others? Why is it okay that you are the person who gets to decide that someone else’s life is worth harming? I don’t want to know the answer. But think about it. Journal it. I dare say, self-reflect on it. Develop that skill, and maybe you won’t have to project your feelings in the comment section on a stranger’s blog.

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