The Duchess’ story has me pondering the nature of this experiment and what it might teach us about ourselves. 


Given the opportunity to present ourselves anonymously, how shall we choose to behave? 


With an infinite variety of subjects from which to choose, which ones are worthy of our expression and attention?


When we have an open invitation to drop in and listen on any conversation we wish, how shall we choose to comment? 



Assuming that we find ourselves in a room filled with others; assuming that we are all alone among those others with not a soul who knows us to witness our behavior; assuming that nearly all of our senses are starved of the others’ qualities; having nothing but words to offer, which words shall we choose?


Having the tools at our disposal that allow us to express ourselves in private, or so that others might hear what we have said, do we know which tool to choose for the task at hand?


When receiving the gift of words said in private, are we trustworthy enough to respect the other’s desire to keep those words private?


Having a choice between being kind, cruel or indifferent, how shall we be?


With total freedom of association, with whom shall we spend our precious time associating?


As we fumble our way about through this darkened room of strangers with nothing but profiles and icons and avatars and words with which to identify one another, are we aware that behind every one of those icons profiles and avatars is flesh and blood sitting upright before a monitor and keyboard?  Are we humble enough to recognize that those others are just like us in that they eat and breathe and feel and wonder and cry and smile and dream?  Can we give ourselves permission to gaze in wonder at the amazing variety of humanity in our midst?  Do we allow our horizon to expand and include new thoughts and perspectives?  When the time comes to log out and step away from the keyboard, do we take with us a renewed sense of who we really are?  Do we carry warm and loving thoughts for those others?  Are we growing at all?





juan1966 juan1966
46-50, M
16 Responses Mar 13, 2009


This is one of my favorites on EP. Although Juan I'm finding this several months later, for me it it the perfect time. Your stories always either paint a picture or make me search myself or both. This is such an insightful post. How we behave on this site is a character assessment. I have found many loving, caring, sensitive EP friends. But I have also become more open and capable of expressing my feelings.<br />
And I have learned I can care about and be friends with many, whose viewpoints may not always match mine.<br />
Thank you.

'Tis the season for flying a kite Tasmin!<br />
Wishing you a steady breeze and fair skies.<br />
<br />
Thanks for the poem.

Oh, oh, oh!<br />
Let's go fly a kite<br />
Up to the highest height!<br />
Let's go fly a kite and send it soaring<br />
Up through the atmosphere<br />
Up where the air is clear<br />
Oh, let's go fly a kite!<br />
<br />
<br />
When you send it flyin' up there<br />
All at once you're lighter than air<br />
You can dance on the breeze<br />
Over 'ouses and trees<br />
With your first 'olding tight <br />
To the string of your kite<br />
<br />
<br />
Oh, oh, oh!<br />
Let's go fly a kite<br />
Up to the highest height!<br />
Let's go fly a kite and send it soaring<br />
Up through the atmosphere<br />
Up where the air is clear<br />
Let's go fly a kite!

I agree, Datura, personality does indeed shine through in a very distinct and unique fashion. The variety is fascinating.

lady d<br />
<br />
my kopdokter friend <br />
<br />
of course you would like the story<br />
<br />
hehe<br />
<br />

I think the way one behaves when anonymous totally speaks to character and also personality. Extroverted people will use the site much differently than introverted. Some will share very little of their real problems and situations. Some will tell all! <br />
<br />
Some will behave with the same integrity as they do in a room full of people who know them well. Some will be intoxicated with the power of being anonymous and not use the veil wisely.<br />
<br />
You've asked some intriguing questions here, Juan. I love this story.

Dear Nancy,<br />
The choices you make here, the manner in which you behave is testiment to your fine character. Bravo!

That is a fine motto by which to live, BCJ.

Oh Juan this is why I like you. <br />
<br />
How we behave here speaks volumes about personal character, one's morality and just how human human can be. <br />
<br />
I can't speak for everyone, but I myself have grown in unexpected ways by reading postings, verbal interaction and meeting some truly amazing individuals. I can't think of how I would have been able to read or get to know such interesting and kind people if not for this site.

the greatest love is the love on the self. only when this is settled and harmonious, can one give of oneself to others.<br />
<br />
Do and say only that which you will be proud of a year from now and do and say only that which you will be proud to let your children discover one day when they are ready.<br />
<br />
lol<br />
<br />

And in that tucking away there is loss.<br />
<br />
Thank you, Datura, for sharing such a lovely ex<x>pression with us.

Oooooooooooooooh .., I like that poem datura

Your story makes me think of another poem from my youth, Juan.<br />
<br />
Poem for Everyone<br />
<br />
I will present you<br />
parts<br />
of<br />
my<br />
self<br />
slowly<br />
if you are patient and tender.<br />
I will open drawers<br />
that mostly stay closed<br />
and bring out places and people and things<br />
sounds and smells,<br />
loves and frustrations,<br />
hopes and sadnesses,<br />
bits and pieces of three decades of life<br />
that have been grabbed off<br />
in chunks<br />
and found lying in my hands.<br />
they have eaten<br />
their way into my memory,<br />
carved their way into<br />
my heart.<br />
altogether<br />
- you or i will never see them -<br />
they are me.<br />
if you regard them lightly,<br />
deny that they are important<br />
or worse, judge them<br />
i will quietly, slowly,<br />
begin to wrap them up,<br />
in small pieces of velvet,<br />
like worn silver and gold jewelry,<br />
tuck them away<br />
in a small wooden chest of drawers<br />
<br />
and close.<br />
<br />
-- John T. Wood

I believe this as well.<br />
Nonetheless, this freedom we have is a delicate gift and begs to be respected. How we behave, given this freedom can be very revealing of and to one's self.

I think it is very interesting how we get to know each other by our avatars and stories .. I think we are all growing and that this is a very dynamic site.