A few weeks ago, I wrote a post called Not Ever. In the post, I quoted a post from a piano teachers’ group. The quote was unattributed. There was no way to know who had said it unless you were already a member of that particular group and had seen the quote. I talked about my visceral reaction to the posted advice, and how much the suggested behavior distressed me.
It upset me. I wrote about it. My blog post was picked up and reposted by the Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism. Other friends and colleagues, especially those in the autism community, shared it. It went viral on a small “piano teacher” kind of scale.
Yesterday, I was expelled from that piano teachers’ group.
At first, I admit, I was upset. I want to be liked. I’m the eager-to-please youngest of five children. I was a straight-A, academic and music scholarships kind of student who got awards when I graduated.
Expulsion was not something I expected to ever be a part of my life.
But I’ve thought about it and maybe I don’t belong in that group. The moderator told me that it was too dangerous for the other members. There were no guarantees that I would not quote other members and write about them. (There was no policy in place when I wrote my original post that prohibited quoting from a post. They have since changed that policy, and I had agreed to abide by it.) But that wasn’t enough. They wanted me to pull down my original post and apologize.
I’ve thought about it. I’ve thought about it every day since the day I wrote and posted it.
So here’s the thing: I think it’s OK to disagree. I think it’s fine for people to criticize the things that I make and what I believe. Some people don’t like the music I write. Some people don’t like the piano method I wrote. Some people don’t like my recordings. (And I can guarantee that some people don’t like what you’re reading right now.) But I think it’s perfectly acceptable for people to disagree about important things like parenting and teaching. I feel so strongly about this that I am willing to have people not like me.
Willing to be expelled.
Willing to be dangerous.