I’ve been observing amazing acts of stupidity in recent weeks.
When I do, my first instinct is to keep it to myself. Nobody likes a whiner, and I’m no exception. But when the poop pile gets too high and starts to stink up the room for everyone else, I need to kick open the door and vent the fumes.
So please indulge me as I tell a few unnamed people how they’re making the world a harder place for the rest of us.
This isn’t meant to hurt feelings, though I’m sure it will anyway. It IS meant to knock some sense into people who are capable of doing good but waste time on petty bullshit.
–To the parent among those in my children’s school and scout community who thinks it’s perfectly fine to use his friends as weapons against his ex in divorce proceedings, stop it. You’re making the other grown-ups uneasy and making some of them feel betrayed that you would use them like bullets. This makes the rest of us leery about being your friend. When all you’re friends are gone, you’re all done.
–To the folks who quibble over whether the street walker they pick on is a deranged Vietnam Vet or just a well-to-do guy who lives on the sidewalk for fun, stop it. You’re stupid to think it even matters if he got his mental illness in a war zone or not. The guy has a mental illness and deserves compassion. Instead, you “liked” a Facebook page dedicated to making fun of him.
–To the health insurers who label mental health care as a luxury instead of a necessity, cutting sufferers off from the things that can make them well again: The only way to describe what you do is evil. This is partly why people with mental illnesses can’t get better.
–To those who suffer from mental illness and do nothing about it: You are also contributing to the stigma. When you don’t do your job and you hide from people who love you, you are hurting everyone around you more than yourself. I know because I used to be just like you. It’s time to take a leap of faith and do something that scares you.
–To the fellow church-goers who think themselves more morally pure than everyone else and are quick to judge others, you are missing the whole point of your faith. Go back to Sunday school and get it right.
–To the folks who go on Facebook and Twitter to bitch about how mean the boss is or how unfair a family member is, stop. For one thing, your boss is probably on Facebook too, and they will fire you over your public airing of grievances.
–To those who dismiss all addicts as idiots who either need sense knocked into them or need to be locked away. Sometimes they do. But addiction is a disease, not an attitude problem. The only attitude problem I’m noticing is yours.
–To those who write off suicides as damned souls: True, suicide is a mortal sin. But those who do it are often so mentally ill that they’re not doing it in a moment of sanity or clarity. They have fallen to a disease. When you oversimplify their actions as the stuff of quitters or sinners, you do more harm than good to those who need help for mental illness, not ridicule. You’re also forgetting that you sin with the best and worst of ’em.
I feel better now. And since I didn’t name names, nobody got hurt. If you noticed yourself in here and you are hurt, don’t blame me. You got some work to do.