In most social groups the taboo subjects are religion, politics and the similar. It seems on LiveJournal at the moment that mental health issues are the ones which cause the most uproar and vitriol.
This was brought into focus by a posting yesterday which has generated a whole raft of comments, often taking some small part of a comment and blowing it out of proportion.
I was also surprised and dismayed by the way one of the commentators seemed to think that one particular part of a comment I made was aimed at himself. In fact, I didn’t even think of him when posting and was talking generallities. The word “sometimes” qualifying the “kick up the arse” seemed to be forgotten. This would change the meaning of the sentence from being one saying that occasionally the action would be helpful and appropriate to it should always be done.
Still, this still doesn’t clarify what the term “giving someone a kick up the arse” could mean in reality. As in the normal form of the term, rather than the metaphor, there is a difference between a tap with the side of the foot and a whalloping great kick causing damage. Maybe I should have used a wording such as “shaking the person out of complacency in a firm but constructive manner” but that doesn’t have the same ring to it.
The other worrying thing I find is the idea that to be helpful to someone you have to always be supportive and sympathetic. In this life, often support and sympathy ARE the right things to give, however, on other occasions you do have to point out to people that things they are doing or saying or thinking aren’t right in a way which may SEEM harsh at the time. It’s just like a mother forcing a baby to ween, not nice for the baby at the time but the best thing for the baby in the longer term.