A new montra that was recently adopted by the wife and I is this:
Dont give them more power than they deserve.
Here's why I say that, and I point this to those of you still in the congregation, still trying to decide what you want to do.
Recently, our family had a little family reunion gathering of sorts, and we were in the company of some extended family that were either DF or DA, to varying degrees. We made it very clear, to any and all in attendance, that we wanted to be respectful and kind, despite any previous perceptions about our "status".... and that our feelings on a lot of things had "softened", and "changed" over the last 2 years.
I am being purposefully slightly vague, but I think you get the point. At any rate, a good time was had by everyone, we ate dinner with, and had a good time with a few relatives and friends from the past, several were even "wicked" and "mentally diseased". Our little shin-dig lasted a few days, so it was more than just a "quick" visit.
It was a private thing, for a private reason, mostly to catch up on family, and to re-connect with alot of family members that we havent seen in a long long time. Without coming right out and saying it.... the family knew instantly that things had changed for us, and that were throwing off the robes of "shunning" and were taking on a new perspective.
Fast forward about a week after, and we get a call from an elder. It seems that some over-zealous member of the family that is out to make everything their business, and to fulfill some need to be a hero, "turned us in".
Now, the brothers would like to meet with us... "just to chat". Ya sure. One brother, who is constantly trying to "befriend" me, tracked me down just prior, for a little less formal "chat", to let me know what was up. I politely informed him that our business was just that... our business, and no one else's. After an hour of him pointing out scriptures and WT articles, I got a little hot under the collar and told him to relay the message to the rest of the body.... our affairs were our business, and for them to mind their own! If they didnt have the guts to come over to see me themselves, or to even look our way, then they have absolutlely zero rights to judge us over what we do in private.
I dismissed myself shortly thereafter, before I might say something in anger. The next nite I get a text from Brother Elder Asshat.. "you need to meet with us asap. This Thursday night works for us." I didnt respond.
Soon a phone call, I kicked it to voicemail. And another, and another. He left a couple of messages, each one more irritated than the other. I was ignoring him, and he knew it. Then another text.
The next day, more texts. Still, I offered no response.
My stomach was in knots, I did not want to meet with them for anything, I didn't need to. I found myself getting that scared feeling that I had done something so wrong, and needed to confess, to be in their good graces. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks...... WHY???
They have no power over me and Mrs Harper, NONE. They can rant and rave all day long, but I DONT HAVE to meet with them, to confess, or to even entertain their "concerns". Why should I be "scared" of them, to submit to their "authority"?
And so we didnt. We didnt even return their messages. Saw them at the next meeting, and just ignored them like nothing happened at all. It felt GREAT!
They knew we were ignoring them, and there was not a thing they could do about it!
Oh sure, suddenly the microphone schedule was changed and I was no longer on it.... whooo hooO! Big surprise! Oh,.... the HORROR! That was their way of "punishing me". Idiots.
So the lesson in this, for you lurkers and fenceriders is this..... dont let them take your power. You dont owe these fools anything. They are window washers, toilet scrubbers, and retirees with a title. And its only a title if YOU LET IT BE ONE! Ignore them, and see their heads spin circles! Dont get your stomach tied up in knots. Live your life and tell busybodies to mind their own business, and just to leave you alone!
It works. It might not be your first instinct, and it might not feel natural, and it may not be easy... but it will work.
JUST SAY NO!
Jack Harper, Tech49