Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I Hate Free Speech

The irony of me speaking that does not escape me.

I can say it.
Cuz I have free speech and all.
And that's awesome.

But there's a line and it really, really bothers me when people cross it.

When people mouth off about things that they haven't bothered to research. When they spout off opinions that are ignorant and judgmental and just plain mean, and they do it all with relative anonymity.

That really chaps my hide.

Is the world really full of mean spirited punks? Hateful bullies disguised as grown adults? Is that what we become when we can hide behind the safety of our own little computer? Spoiled, know-it-all, jerks with mouths full of hate?

I hate Youtube because I can't help myself from scrolling down and being appalled at the nastiness. I hate the comments people post about a celebrity who has gone from a size 0 to a God-forbid, size 4, and they trash her for being fat. I hate comedians because they're usually well spoken, popular bullies.

I hate that my girls are growing up during this age of the Tower of Babel run amuck.

I hate the bullying that goes on through kid's text messages and Facebook.  I hope texting and MySpace and Facebook are silly, looked-down, things of the past in a few short years when my kid's will be old enough to want them.

I hate when someone I sort of like and respect actually runs for office, because I hate it when nice enough people and their innocent families get dragged through the mud.  I'm usually glad when they don't win (and typically, no one I vote for ever wins...)

I hate that the lovely midwives who helped me deliver Gianni during a traumatic and dangerous birth have had their licenses suspended for being present at the births of some tragically, now deceased babies.  Their numbers are not high - not as high as the typical U.S. O.B.s even - but because of how much people love witch hunts, they are being destroyed.

What a finger pointing world we live in. People yelling about hate and lack of tolerance while they self righteously do the same thing.

People sitting around, crassly naval gazing, preaching at God for not intervening enough yet never doing anything themselves to help those they say they want to help. Indulgently chuckling at the religious who bring bibles to the poor and saying why didn't they bring food instead? Have they themselves or are they too busy posting judgmental comments and ran out of time?

I wonder sometimes when we are raging at God for allowing bad things to happen to good people, if He doesn't sigh and wonder the same about us. If He has a desk, He is probably banging His head against it just as often as we are, but for better reasons.

We can stop the bad and do something good. It doesn't mean the sky will fill with rainbows and unicorns will shoot Skittles out of their horn for you to munch on while you bask in the glory that is yourself and your awesomeness, but you can still do it. Sometimes, actually, you do it, and it hurts like heck. Like my midwives. Like me and my husband: we gave up everything we had and moved in with seven teenage inner city turkeys. It was incredibly unrewarding. It did not turn out well. There were no unicorns. There was rage and fights and exhaustion and danger and hopelessness. But we did it anyway. I don't say that to toot my own horn, but rather, that when you see a need, step up.

I hate all those things up above, but more than those, I hate the feeling of what if...

what if...I could have helped?
And not added to the hurt?

What we went through basically sucked. There you go. I wish I could tell you how it was all worth it in the end, but I'm not where I can say that just yet. But I am glad we did it; if we hadn't, we'd still be gazing at our navals, sighing over wishing we could do something big with our lives.

As goofy as it sounds, go out and be a light to someone today. It can be as complicated as volunteering somewhere that scares you, giving away money, considering foster care, or stepping in where you're needed, or it can be as simple as complimenting a frazzled mom at the grocery store (a quiet 'you're doing great, Mom' does wonders. I've been on both sides of that phrase), throwing a baby shower for a friendless woman, saying Yes to your kids all day, or leaving a waiter a big tip.

I guess my point is, leave a positive mark in a negative world. See some beauty.

If you close one eye and squint, you might even make out a unicorn.


  1. Aw, the "you're doing great, mom" comment did it. Tears over here! And, YOU are doing great, friend.

  2. Aw, thanks! I almost bought a pair of pj pants at Goodwill yesterday with your name (literally) on felt a little weird though!

  3. Beautiful post, Melyssa. But now I have to explain to my boys why I'm all teary-eyed... sigh.

  4. This is one of my favorite rants in a long time. Thanks so much. And your point: "leave a positive mark in a negative world. See some beauty" is well taken.

  5. smiles....def enjoyed your rant and i agree in many ways...i think we have the opportunity to give much more love than taking it away by sitting on our butts...because we are robbing them of that same opportunity...

  6. our polarizing climate gets me, too. yes to leaning into beauty and kindness.

  7. I hate that my girls are growing up during this age of the Tower of Babel run amuck.

    wow. YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! a thousand amen's.

  8. It is so true that doing the right thing does not always produce positive, rainbow-filled results. My husband stood up for a co-worker who was being bullied publicly by his manager, and he lost his job for it. He was out of work for almost a year. But, you know what? I'm so happy he did it even though this was one of the hardest years we've ever had. Right does not equal easy. Loved your post :)