Last week I wrote about teaching my nonverbal son about dangers. As so often, the comments made almost everyone smile. I heard from others with shared concerns and frustrations about their own children. They told stories of their experiences and in the end I felt a little less alone.
Then among them was an unusual but not entirely unique feeling of someone making fun of my child’s struggle. She called it “An evolutionary necessity.” I hid their comment because the others in my boat didn’t have to worry about it because it had no other purpose than to insult. Children could call them a troll today. When I was a child we had other words for her. We are still doing it.
Remember, her profile provided insight into her looks, hobbies, and life, while her comment told me everything I needed to know about her personality. So I could easily talk about how someone like her, who claimed that human evolution had benefited her in some way, was nothing less than self-aware. However, this would not be true. She is not aware of it. she is very confident who she is and her current place in the world. She has no doubt.
I say this with complete confidence because, I have had some ups and downs in my whole life. The only thing I know for sure: I have never been so happy and successful and thought to myself. “I should make fun of this stranger with special needs online.” If you need more than a second to think about it, agree. It is not a sign of bliss with one’s own existence. It is a red flag of the contrary.
Remember criticism is fine. Question my parenting ability. Ask about my motivations. Suggest my writing style. It’s all fair game. This was not one of those things. This was an attempt to make one, and after writing online for almost 20 years, I’ve seen a lot worse. I’ve also come to accept these hidden tough boys and girls as a fact of life.
I know people often roll their eyes when someone talks about others “Hides behind a keyboard,” but that’s it too. I say this because it is “hard” to tell someone important for one reason only – because you risk being slapped in the face for your comment. Growing up was what made the great speakers so cool. They would stand in the face of someone and spit out a lot of junk without worrying about being beaten up for their rude approach. You may not like what they had to say, but you had to respect your courage to say it. Those who do this online eliminate the one thing that makes big talk big.
Often these people who insult the “keyboard warrior” also insult the thought of being beaten. Although they behave like children, they will be the first to say so “Adults can’t just walk around and hit each other in the face.”
And they are wrong.
I can totally hit someone in the face. In fact, I can do anything I want. If you couldn’t hit anyone in the face, nobody would ever get hit in the face, but it happens every day. It is not about tilt. It is a matter of deciding whether this is not the case. It is about weighing the consequences against your actions. Is someone who cuts you off in traffic worth the punishment of a fist fight? Is it worth it if someone approaches your child with special needs and insults them? Yes. All day long.
Why am i not in jail Why don’t I have the record of constantly beating people? because nobody comes up to me and does that in real life. It doesn’t happen because people often have decency personally. However, you did it online. Why? Because they can’t be hit in the face. Follow logic?
The next natural question people ask when I look at this somewhat uncomfortable topic is: “Why do you care?” They point to the senselessness of these people and their opinions. Why does it matter?
The short answer is that this is not the case. The disregard for my loved ones and the feelings they create has nothing to do with someone else’s opinion. It has to do with defending someone I am supposed to defend who cannot defend myself. It’s just fatherhood. It makes no difference whether your opinion is important or not.
But don’t make a mistake, it’s not about the person’s opinion. It doesn’t make me angry. It is the realization that my child, one of the purest and most harmless people on earth, has to share the planet with such dilapidated hatred that overthrows me the most. It is clear that the best people out there must be exposed to the worst.
Some of the most beautiful people I’ve ever met told me horror stories about interactions with some of the meanest people out there. It’s like a magnetic attraction. The more angelic a person is, the more society’s sediment comes from the woodwork to damage their wings with the dirt in which they wallow.
I think the point of all this is to say that I see you. Those who are on a higher street and want to get better every day – I see you. Those who try to get them on their troll bridge from below – I see you too. At the end of the day, we should all try to get better. Unfortunately, there are only a few of us as the others try to pull them down to make the race to the finish line easier.
The world needs beautiful people like my son. The world also needs terrible ones like the woman who mocked him behind her computer screen. It helps us to see the good in the world. I think you can say that it is an “evolutionary necessity”.
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