It seemed the simplest of decisions.
After over three years and more than a thousand different posts, I was going to shut down the Tao of Maud project. In my mind, it had never really accomplished the goals I had set out to do. It had not reached a broad enough audience to soften the conversation within the community of fans by reminding them of the values that particular show was based around. In fact, I’d repeatedly been treated as someone trying to make a quick buck off the show, despite the fact I never even had a Patreon to support my ongoing costs. The irony of that argument was it was made by people who made money as artists, convention managers or internet hosts with sponsorships.
Yet, as December 31st approached, several people came forward with their wishes I would reconsider and anecdotes of how the posts helped them each day or through particularly rough spells. It was nice to finally receive some positive feedback, but it didn’t change the underlying argument.
Then someone close to me chimed in.
My girlfriend said it was still up to me, but I shouldn’t discount how powerful the Tao of Maud could be if it could be a positive influence on even a single life. Besides, it was one of the reasons she first fell in love with me.
How do you stop something that can do that? I hadn’t even realized how well it had worked. So the Tao of Maud stays up, still posting every day for the foreseeable future. It appears to be the primary work of my life – unpaid, uncompensated, yet doing the greatest good.
The day after the New Year started, a bully showed up and began to follow the project on Twitter, a nihilist who sees it as his duty to refute every post. At first, I engaged him and called him out, but this young man believed he could do a bit of a dive onto the ‘net, scouring this blog and my other social media sites for items to use in any argument. It took me a bit, but what I realized was this person really sought was attention. So I’m going to starve him. He can post all he wants. I’ve advised everyone to ignore his comments going forward, no matter how outrageous they become. I know from experience, nothing frustrates one more than the belief you have something to say, and no one will listen to you.
I have been called a cultural appropriator, creatively bankrupt, someone who neither understands nor lives any of the concepts that they try to promote, and someone who does not know that the pony world is not the real world. I prefer to think that the pony world has lessons that we can apply to the real world and thus make it better. I like to think the Tao of Maud is merely another construct to convey those lessons, which have been taught over and over and OVER throughout history by sage people, one more time.
Finally, I see me as a work in progress, nowhere near perfection, but just on a journey toward understanding. I’m not better than others because I created this project. I’m only the first to think of it.