Dropping Bombs and Throwing Grenades

via Daily Prompt: Detonate

Yesterday I wrote a post about being someone who always instinctively wants to help people. I call it the ‘servant gene‘.

Someone left the following comment on my post:

servant blog comment

I had to read it several times to be sure it was saying what I thought it was saying. Is it just me or is this person accusing me of bragging about having a servant gene and that I think I’m better than everyone else because of it?

It upset me. A lot. Because one of the key things about those with a very active servant gene is that they never think they’re superior to anyone.

I started going over my post.ย Was it braggy? Did I sound like I was making out I was better than other people? Admittedly, I’d ended with the comment that those with servant genes are an important part of the community but it had actually taken a lot of effort to include that. If it sounded like I was putting myself above other people, I hadn’t meant it.

I’d never seen this person on my blog before so I clicked through to their blog to try and understand where they were coming from. There was nothing there. It’s a nothing blog. They just have a profile.

So this person just came by and threw a grenade at my house before driving away.


What is it with these people?

You see it too often these days on Facebook posts and online newspaper articles and the like. People say whatever they want, often inflammatory, and then disappear. Drop a nasty bomb and take cover.

If I had presented what was in my blog post as a speech somewhere, I’d be willing to bet that person would never have come up to me afterwards and made that comment to my face.

I just wish people would have a little common decency and stop detonating bombs wherever they feel like it. Not all of us are bulletproof.

Postscript: Amazingly, I’d already considered writing a follow up post about how much this comment had upset me and then the Daily Prompt landed in my inbox. It seemed meant to be.

Post-postscript: I feel better now. ๐Ÿ˜‰



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48 thoughts on “Dropping Bombs and Throwing Grenades

    • I don’t understand them either, especially the really nasty trolls who just live to write horrible comments on posts about things that they’re clearly against. I mean, honestly, just don’t read the post! But they do it to deliberately upset and get a rise out of decent people. I’ll never understand the attraction.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. It’s quite possible that comment came from someone who gets off on lobbing grenades. In my experience though there are also people who drop bombs when the topic hits a red button for them; they choose not to engage in follow up because they’re distressed and offloading.

    “The servant gene” might well hit a nerve with any number of people who feel they are not merely servants but slaves, who feel entrapped by that, and who feel they are unrecognised, unacknowledged, unappreciated, unrecompensed. These people feel that for them, being “the Servant”, is not a choice.

    Obviously it was in no way your intention, but I do see how someone like this might be triggered by a person writing that they serve because it’s a reflex, innate response, that they won’t accept recompense, and that they feel their “servant gene” makes them someone of value.

    Not your fault. Just someone whose experience of “serving” is the feeling of being exploited.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Sorry Heather, I don’t have anything to offer. I know what you mean about not being bulletproof. I can only hope that it wasn’t intended to hurt you … although reading it several times, it would have hurt me if aimed my way.

    It will be interesting to see if this followup post triggers another response.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Well, it certainly did. And doesn’t context (or at least, a more complete comment) make all the difference? So perhaps that’s a lesson too. How does my comment read without context? Could it be misconstrued? I always tend to read over my comment a dozen times to make sure it’s clear and won’t cause offence but maybe others are just quick to shoot off whatever they’re thinking without considering the context it’s made in and whether it could therefore be misunderstood?


  3. H darlin, whilst I readily acknowledge your gentleness, I refuse to allow you to spend another second on faceless (_ยค_)s like that one.
    Your post was totally recognizable as genuine. How not ? – it was you writing it.
    Anyone who needs to hide his/her (I favour the latter) identity when trolling is a poor sad bastard.
    I have spoken.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Yes, that person was me. You could have included my name as well.

    I have subscribed to your blog a year ago and I have been always a mute spectator, sometimes appreciating your writings and sometimes not.

    I never intended to throw a bomb at you specifically but at other people who, in my society, thinks that one should always conform to a fixed way of life. The place where I come from, people make it miserable for those people who do not have a natural servant gene. I don’t have any obligation to serve anyone and I do not need anyone to serve me. But when people impose their belief that being a servant to the society is great, I feel myself to be an odd one out. I feel humiliated for being different.

    I write blogs as well. Although not popular and never intended for the majority to look at. However here is the link: thepuppetofaloser.blogspot. in

    Have a great day ahead.

    Liked by 4 people

      • Please don’t apologize. It was my mistake of getting into a place where I do not belong. But I am happy to see that how the quality of judging and tagging people into a category without any prior information is same in all the parts of the world. I rest my conversation. I don’t mean to demean and belitle anyone and hence had to come here in my defense even though it is just an online forum/blog and I can easily drive away from here

        Liked by 1 person

        • I agree with Elly. I would also hate for you to conclude you “don’t belong”. It has been worthwhile providing context for your comment. As I mentioned on the other post, even just writing it a little clearer to explain that it was about people you know might have helped. Your original comment made me feel judged and dumped into some negative category of servant and now I see you have felt judged by my reaction. Unfortunately, it is the nature of this type of communication that misunderstandings are all too easy.

          Liked by 3 people

    • I am happy you have come back to provide context for your comment. It has made such a difference. In my defence, I did read your comment many times trying to figure out if there was some other meaning. I also clicked on your profile hoping to find a blog and some details that might help me find context to understand. But there was none and I was left with the reading of the comment as sounding like an attack on me. It is unfortunately a common side-effect of online communication – misunderstanding.

      I am sorry that your experience of the service of others has been so negative. It has not been the case in my life. I do it out of love not glory. But it’s actually people not understanding that, of assuming that I’m going to want to be repaid in some way or, as you have said, of thinking that I have an alternative secret agenda behind it, that made me write the post. I just wanted people to understand what it’s like when loving service is a core part of your being.

      Thank you for returning and explaining your position. I wish you much peace.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow! I’ve done this totally backwards as usual (reading this post first). I guess this is where the global, written, non-real time nature of blogging shows its weaknesses. I would have felt as you do, especially as your whole blog makes it really clear that service and community and compassion are absolutely central to the person you are.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. It’s not the first I’ve heard of, that some think it is selfish to go out and lend a helping hand or go above and beyond. I’ve come across some people who would put their hand up for anything and just do as they can – whether or not they know how to do it – just so at the end of the day they can put it on their resume or say they have done it. It can be a self-esteem thing, or maybe they really are just being kind at the end of the day. Personally I like to help others just because I want them to be happy and just be comfortable, and I really don’t like anyone picking on me and shouting to the world I’ve helped someone – just the introvert in me.

    As for that comment, I do think he or she is entitled to his own opinion. Stating an opinion is one thing, but attacking them is another thing altogether. From the previous comments, I am very much inclined to see that the person was stating their opinion based on their personal experiences.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh man, your depiction of people always helping so they can be recognised for it made me shrink into myself. That is SO NOT ME. I only wrote the servant gene post because I’ve had a hard time lately trying to explain to some people that they CAN ask for help, that it is NEVER an imposition because it is something that is a deep part of who I am and thus always a pleasure to do and I sure as heck don’t need or want recompense for it.
      Plus, it’s just a bit of a family in-joke about the “overactive servant gene” we all seem to have been blessed with so I thought I’d write about it. ๐Ÿ˜‰


      • Haha, you’ve never came across as egoistic people here and in real life I’m inclined to think you are very nice ๐Ÿ˜€ But those people who help because for the sake of networking, I find they are the ones who come and then go the next :/ I feel if you aren’t committed you probably won’t be putting up your hand for just one thing and never come back – you will come back because you want to ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I saw that comment and I was upset by it. I tend to follow the “if you don’t have something nice to say…” rule. I saw your reply and assumed that you were going to let it go as so much odd junk that flows in through the comments.

    I don’t know what makes people leave comments like this on blogs where they don’t know the writer, don’t understand the context and don’t really seem to have read the post. If they wanted to challenge your reason for writing, say if they thought you were bragging, I think they could have asked you a question. I know you well enough from previous posts to know that you would give an honest answer.

    Telling stories about good things we do/have done, is always difficult. I know what you’re talking about. I’ve known people like you, and you’re right, they are the last people to call attention to themselves. If they encourage others to help, to follow an urge to help. that’s a good thing. If that behavior bothers the person leaving the comment, so be it. If he/she becomes a troll, well, that’s why you’re the Admin of your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Dan, for such kind comments. It’s reassuring in a way to know that others read it the same way I did. Especially because my follow up post seems to have upset the commenter and I hate upsetting people so I’ve been second-guessing myself all day.

      The thought crossed my mind to delete the comment but I always tend to err on the side of ‘maybe I haven’t fully understood’ and let it lie. And I tend to reply politely. But my understanding of what the comment was saying had upset me greatly and I just needed to say something. It’s also not the first time something like this has happened. I once wrote a joke post about not being a Game of Thrones fan and the more people tell me to watch it the less likely I will. Someone who’d never commented on my blog before left a comment along the lines that I was being petulant and childish and I should get over myself. I checked her blog and she’d only just started. I let it go because I thought ‘Lady, you’re not going to last long out here if that’s how you introduce yourself!’ All that to say that behind this post was some measure of upset still about that comment as well and also my increasing despair at the rudeness and insensitivity of people commenting online in all sorts of outlets.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I too, read that comment with a negativity attached to it. In fact I read it several times to try to understand what the intention was. I see from earlier comments that it was not intended to be used in that context but I think this speaks volumes to how written words can be misconstrued when they are read back.

    As far as your post written about the “servant gene” (which I didn’t have time to comment on yesterday), I in no way felt that you were bragging in any shape or form. As someone who can relate to pitching in & helping out, I think it is inherently our nature to do so, not because we require recognition of any sort but simply because we feel it is the right thing to do.

    Keep on being your wonderful self H!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Heather I have to say the comments are as fascinating as the post itself. I know you are genuine of heart. It is interesting to see how others see the helpers of the world. In all honesty it is one of the reasons i reigned myself in after losing a couple friendships from helping when people actually felt it was intrusive. I am now very careful about asking if people want to be helped before doing so.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Internet trolls are just that. Trolls. By definition, they are ugly creatures depicted either as giants or as dwarves. With no offence to either, this particular kind of trolls have giant egos and a dwarfish sense or intelligence. Do not take their comments to heart. Your post was beautiful. By the end of it I thought how beautiful a family you have. A specific gene may or may not be superior to another (in all honesty, I know only of genes either being dominant or recessive, their superiority or inferiority never entered the picture) but the willingness and intent to serve is nothing but noble.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your kind and supportive comment. I don’t understand trolls but this case confused me even more because it came across as trolling but wasn’t meant to be. I guess we learn to be careful about how we comment out of context.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, we do. It’s always better to say nothing at all than to such things. Also, never get confused. Whatever the intention, take them to be trolls. Don’t let them get you down. ๐Ÿ˜Š

        Liked by 1 person

  11. I saw that comment, Heather, and I just tossed it aside. I figured that person was an internet troll. I’ve had odd comments on my blog along the way – some have felt mean while others are annoying. I don’t take it to heart, it’s their personal problem. They are living in a world that is not acceptable, loving or fun, so they try to drag other people down with them. I LOVE your servant gene as do a million other people, so stand tall and bat those grenades back down into the hole from whence they come. Or use the “delete” option. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I did consider deleting it but I guess there was still doubt in my mind that I hadn’t understood the comment and maybe it was just me. And I should have just let it go but it upset me a lot. I think because I just would never feel superior because I help people. (It’s usually the opposite – often I’m helping as much as possible because I feel I have to make up for the negative impact of my faults and deficiencies.) Thanks for your support, M-J.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I wonder if the term ‘servant’ would have been more universally understood if it had been ‘service’? I know I’ve been tripped up a few times on my blog when I was writing ‘locally’ but being read half a world away!

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re probably right. It’s just always been known as that in my family – the “over-active servant gene”. I guess we have a New Testament biblical understanding of ‘servant’ as someone who helps others out of love rather than some antiquated negative view of servitude. Context is everything, I guess.


  13. Yikes! Can of worms here MOSY. I once commented on a photograph not negatively as I did say that I liked the photo, but merely pointing out in MY opinion that I would have made certain changes and was totally lambasted as if I had thrown her pet cat onto a bonfire! I was at the time a newbie and hadn’t yet learned that a lot of commenting is like FB in that you LIKE my post and I’ll LIKE yours. Personally I prefer an honest reaction to a post and if someone has something to offer then fine. I can deal with that. What I couldn’t deal with was the sheer animosity aimed at me for my honest opinion. I almost gave up blogging then. I still give my two penn’orth but am careful how I give it.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I think reading all this highlights the differences in expressions between people. Each of us only have the words we write, they don’t necessarily come with expression or tone or background. Even though we have much in common with other people around the world, culture sometimes causes chasms in understanding. Yet this is one of the great things about blogging, we can reach a better understanding of each other’s words, as Mabel and I often find when discussing proverbs/sayings on Thursdays. Different perspectives often reveal different things. There is much to learn from all facets of this post. And I do hope my words are taken as positive affirmations of each person’s point of view for that is the way they were intended.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ll admit to a residual embarrassment about my ‘jumping to conclusions’. To be honest, it has felt like yet another slap from the universe. So many times I have let such things slide by. This time I chose to react and my timing was bad. (It so often is. We will never get rich from investing… ๐Ÿ˜œ) But I hold onto the positive that it has in some way raised awareness of the issue.


      • I think your post will make many readers and or commenters think more before posting a knee jerk reaction. The strength of the post is its ability to really ‘hit home.’ I too have the accused bad timing gene when it comes to investments but I do wait til my anger subsides now before ranting on social media. It wasnt always so. AS one never really knows the tone etc from words, and I try really hard to see a positive side to nasty comments. But we all have our moments when it is hard to think rationally. It often depends on the kind if day we have had as to how we act or react. You are not alone, Mosy. Don’t trouble yourself. You admitted the error which shows good character.

        Liked by 1 person

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