WE CAN’T FIGHT HATE WITH HATE
It’s no secret that I’ve been the victim of some horrible comments pretty often. It’s an unfortunate side effect of having an Instagram page that is unfiltered and open. Keyboard warriors are rampant across all social media platforms and well, it sucks. It can be tempting to fight against hateful comments with more hate but here’s the thing: we can’t fight hate with hate.
What you see
A larger woman with blemished skin and a messy bun with no makeup on. You presume that she doesn’t take care of herself and is lazy and unworthy.
What you don’t see
You don’t see the tears rolling down her face as she eats her lunch because her toddler is in the other room screaming that she hates her and only wants her dad.
You don’t see that she’s been trying to get that hair cut for the last two months, but she can never find the time in their schedules when the hair dresser has an opening. Because not everyone works a nice Monday to Friday, 9-5 work week.
You don’t see that she’s up until midnight getting work done for the job that she loves, because she can’t get all that work done during the day.
You don’t see the hours that get put into planning, prepping, cooking and feeding herself, husband and three little humans to make sure they’re eating a low waste, balanced diet.
What we see
A hurtful, harmful round of comments on my feed. We immediately presume that person is nasty and unworthy.
What we might not see
A person who is struggling with their own weight
A person who is struggling with their own self worth
A person who has grown up in a negative environment
A person who is struggling and projecting their own insecurities onto someone who is flourishing, out of jealousy.
Feeing a little confused? Let me fill you in. Yesterday, my post on Instagram blessed me with a few comments that could be classified as cyber bullying. The one you see in this screenshot was the worst of it. A comment made from someone who, based on some of the details they pointed out, had been following me for quite some time.
Someone who decided to hide behind a troll account and leave hateful, hurtful comments.
I think sharing screenshots like I did yesterday is important. I think we need to hold people accountable for their hurtful words, harmful comments and flat out bullying. We cannot teach our children to fight against cyberbullying if we don’t do it ourselves. We don’t need to agree with each other all the time but a disagreement does not give permission to be hateful.
I also think it’s important to consider the reasoning behind hate.
To consider what environment they’ve grown up in.
To consider the comments they’ve had thrown at them.
To consider how self-conscious they may feel.
To consider that they may feel intimidated by someone who is confident.
To consider the jealousy they may be feeling.
To consider they might be in a bad place in their life.
It’s easy to fight hate with hate. It’s easy to read a hateful comment and throw a hateful comment back. It’s easy to pick someone apart when they’re in the wrong.
But a hate cannot successfully be fought with hate.
Hate needs to be fought with love, compassion, sympathy and understanding. In some cases, it needs to be fought with explanation and persaverance. If we see change won’t be made, then it’s time to move along.
Yesterday I was mad and shocked when I read the comments. I felt my blood start to boil and my tears start to shed. I immediately thought of a whole slew of names I could throw back at them. But I took the second to think of an answer that would tell them they were wrong without being horrible. I resisted the urge to fight their fire with my fire, because I could see it wouldn’t go anywhere.
I resisted the urge to fight their hate with more hate and hope they can find their peace.