Saturday, June 18, 2016

An Open Letter to Mean People

I know I'm not the first one to ever say this and sadly I won't be the last, but I just have to get something off my chest.  If you're not entirely sure who this letter is to, and if it might actually be directed toward you, here's a short list to check off:

• Do you often find that you jump to conclusions without having all the facts?
• Do you take every opportunity to voice your ignorant opinion in comment sections online?
• Do you routinely ignore those who tell you, you could be wrong?

If you answered yes to these questions, you know this letter is for you.  Not that you're going to actually read it and go "hey, I'm kind of a jerk, maybe I should stop that" or anything, but the entire universe would think it was awesome if you did. In any case, let's begin:

Dear Mean People Everywhere,

for the love of all things good and right and decent and full of compassion, SHUT UP.  Okay maybe that was a little harsh.  Let me begin again.

Dear Mean People (now known as MP), you may not realize this, but do you know who you actually are?

You're the people that other people make comment section memes for.  You know the ones, you've seen them.  The one of Michael Jackson in the movie theater smiling with a tub of popcorn & the text saying something stupid about just being here for the comments?  Yep, you've seen that one and guess what? It's not a compliment.  You know what it is?  What they all are?  They're memes created by people that are almost as mean and ignorant as you, but not quite, so they just spend their time feeding off the mean that you blurt out like some vile case of incurable verbal (digital) diarrhea. They're memes created to mock you, and mock others that feed off the same putrid diet you're dishing out. Sadly, I think you're encouraged by them and interpret it as a sign that says "yay you, nasty person, do more of that!" I find this sad, and super annoying.

It never seems to matter what the subject is of the post or the news story.  You're right there, ready, willing and able to type out the cruelest, most ignorant, usually profanity filled comment.  It doesn't matter if it's politics, weather, entertainment news, local crime stories or someone's back yard barbecue pics.  BOOM.  You drop your bomb and the first people to see it think to themselves "please God, send the meteors, now".  He doesn't, and more people like you clog the comment section like a vile, greasy, rotten-food, hairy sink clog.  Some folks respond and tell you how awful you are, but somehow you see that as a standing ovation.

Now here's where it gets real.  Maybe not for you, because you don't seem to grasp this basic human decency concept, but where it gets real for normal, decent folks everywhere.  Your words are like finely sharpened daggers into people's hearts.  Parents, with teens struggling with all sorts of issues in our confusing times, feel like throwing up when they see your words because they see you're just another wretched example to the teens themselves who also use your kind of hurtful words.  Teens themselves who are already conflicted about tons of issues sometimes take your words to heart. Sometimes they hurt themselves at your suggestions.  Sometimes, it's forever.  People of ALL ages who may be struggling with this, that or the other, see your poison opinions and simply cannot handle it. Grandparents from back in the day, just want to take out out back behind the woodshed and have a come to Jesus moment with you, and a switch of the closest tree, until you have a revelation about your wicked ways and call everyone Sir or Ma'am for the next 50 years. Point being: you revile people.  You hurt people with your words and your ignorance.

If you're a MP I don't even know if you're still reading.  Maybe I lost you a while back but if you're still with me on this, here's what a lot of us parents do: we use you as examples (like bacteria in a dish) to our young people and we say "See that guy?  Don't ever be that guy. No one likes that guy, and that guy probably doesn't even like himself."  And maybe you don't, I don't know.  Maybe someone was mean to you one too many times and you just snapped and decided to take it out on everyone else.  I guess that's possible but please know, there is another way.  Call someone, make an appointment, get some help so you're not "that guy".


Everyone who doesn't act like you, and everyone who understands compassion, wisdom and encouragement goes so much further that hateful ignorance.