I sat at home this past weekend scrolling through Facebook, watching the anger of many turn into hate. Countless people attacked a local organization and the individuals entrusted to carry out their mission. It was evident that many were not interested in having a conversation. For reasons probably only known to themselves, their only interest was to hurt others.
It was hard to watch. I wanted to jump in and tell people to stop. I wanted to remind some that what they were writing was hurting people. I’ve been in those shoes before. I’ve had that kind of hate dumped in my lap too many times. I would not wish those sleepless nights and anxiety on anyone. Ever.
Come to think of it, my first experience with this kind of hate happened exactly four years ago to today’s date. I had created a tv commercial and some fellas at an organization called “A Voice for Men” got a hold of it and were not happy, to say the least. Take a look: Josh Jasper’s hate campaign and what to do about it
You see, their mission is to “promote an end to chivalry in any form or fashion and to push for an end to rape hysteria, domestic violence hysteria and false allegations. Yeah, these guys are some VERY angry dudes. I remember early on thinking that I could reason with them. Surely they would understand my perspective once I gave them all the facts. No deal. Providing them with the information they requested only enraged them more. They wanted a fight.
I never did fully understand the venom that these men spewed toward me from across the planet, but I did learn that I was not going to change their opinion of me or my work. Sadly, there are some people out there that want nothing more than to hurt others and bring them down. It is so easy to get angry and defensive when on the receiving end of this type of vitriol.
I was relieved to see how the local organization handled this recent firestorm. They shared their side of the story in a professional and thorough manner and never got defensive. They didn’t fall for the bait.
Don’t get me wrong, people have the right to voice their concerns and should do so whenever they feel so inclined. What needs to stay out of the conversation though is the other stuff; the stuff that has nothing to do with what is presented and everything to do with their misplaced feelings of hurt and anger. Filling our hearts with compassion, tenderness and sympathy for others will help ensure the best and most effective way to be heard.