Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gaining permission for these posts

Last month I had two encounters with friends whose stories are printed here that made me take more care about what I write.  One of them, I called him Mick (search for Mick to read the story), was catching up with me, and he had an irritated look on his face and upset tone.  He said, "I don't know that I want to tell you personal things if I know that the next day you're going to turn around and write about it in a blog.  When I talk to you, it's meant to be just for you."

I had known that instinctively, and told him that I do take things as confidential, and that's why I didn't use his name and didn't mention the time or place of where we were talking or mention how I knew him, to maintain his privacy. 

He said it's not the name he’s worried about.  It’s that the idea is personal.  I understood differently.   (He gave me permission to keep the story on this blog, so it’s still here).

The instant I got to a computer after that conversation, I deleted both articles I had written about the leader of my Bible Study who I called Valerie.  I deleted them because I had written them also without asking her permission first, even though I had changed her name (she later told me I could use her real first name, which is Carol)..

The next day, at work, I checked her to see how she felt about it, and she said much the same.  That is, that she wanted me to always ask her permission, even though the story was anonymous. But then she said, “Go ahead and put them back on the blog, and here’s one more story”.  That third story is “One reason she listens to God’s voice daily”, which is a story that she wants others to know about how God worked in her life.

So, what does that mean for this blog?  It means that articles may come more slowly.  But it also means I’m more confident that the subjects of my articles are OK with their stories being shared here.  That's important.

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