“Who are we? We find that we live on an insignificant planet of a humdrum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people.”~ Carl Sagan
In local news this evening, a story was broadcast about a bus driver who dropped off a 9 year old child at the wrong bus stop.
The child was unharmed. But it naturally and understandably unnerved the parents. Now the mother is calling for that driver to be fired from his job.
The local network posted this story on Facebook and asked for opinions of whether or not the people agree or disagree with the mother’s ranting about how the bus driver should be terminated from his job. And it just got worse from there by the mother.
From time to time I do like to weigh in and participate and tonight I did with two words — Mistakes happen.
Before I knew it, up to about 10 or 11 people had hit that “LIKE” button to my brief comment and opinion. At last peek, there was 24 and probably still the count rises. So I assume that meant that these people agreed with me.
So I had moved on. No more than an hour later, I received a notification that someone replied to my comment. And shortly after that, I had no less than three messages in my inbox on Facebook. ALL of them, were from people who disagreed with my comment that I had left on the issue.
However they all went as far as to say things like I am stupid. I am insensitive. I lack the ability to care for children. And so on.
And that can’t be true. After all, if I lack the ability to care for children… then I don’t think that my sister would entrust me with her children as she goes to work every Saturday.
The only thing that these responders got right was the fact that no, I am NOT actually a parent. However, I am an uncle. And for the niece and nephew that I often sometimes watch as my sister goes to work, it is the closest thing that they’ve got to a father or another parent since their father, my brother-in-law, passed away last year.
Most of these people who had the guts to send me any kind of correspondence like that said something along the lines that they wished I would die. And the day that I did die, it would clear out the spoiled gene pool.
Pretty courageous of them. Pretty rude of them as well.
My short but brief comment had a point. And I was really trying to give the benefit of the doubt to the bus driver. The fact that so many others were screaming that they agreed with this mother and that basically this driver’s head should be severed and put on a stake was actually overwhelming. But the thing is, is that none of us who were leaving their comments and opinions were actually there when it happened. So we honestly cannot say one way or another to what happened during this unfortunate situation.
Could I have defended myself? Of course. And I did. Could I have fired back with as much venom as these people had given to me? Sure, but that’s not what I did. Instead, I rather took upon the lessons that my own dear mother taught me when I was young whenever someone would pick on me in school or come after me with such violent intent.
One woman said in her response about the gene pool being cleaned out of horrible people once I were to die. Taking the advice of my own mother from many years ago actually took the wind out of this woman’s sails and then others who had noticed the exchange focused their barbs on the woman… telling her that she just got owned. I mean after all, there was not another thing that the woman could say to me in response. NOTHING!
Again, my retort to her was short and sweet in a different pair of words: Thank you.
I did have a momentary relapse to consider that there just might be a few people who would disagree. And as I said, many people were taking this story so freakin’ serious as if it had happened to them personally, when the reality was that it did not. It is as if someone makes a mistake or does someone else wrong that the person who was wronged is just allowed to fly off of the handle and then they decide to just kill everything with fire. The mother wasn’t there in this case, so how can she rationalize such a decision to attempt the termination of this bus driver????
The last time that I checked, I still lived in the United States of America…. where there is a freedom to express your own opinion. And there is that freedom to disagree with me if you feel the need. As well as the freedom to express how your own opinion differs from mine.
But wishing someone to die goes far beyond extreme. People often don’t understand, realize, or forget that even on the Internet to wish someone harm or death can be criminal, should someone wish to take it that far to bring criminal charges of being a threat by the use of terrorism. Especially if they tell you that they intend on making it happen. And that did happen in the privacy of messages sent to me in the inbox on Facebook.
This will not deter me though. I’ve received so many death wishes/threats in the past 12-18 months from random strangers that it doesn’t bother or phase me as much as it used to.
So we can go on with life now. We are very capable of expressing our opinions when we feel the desire to speak up. But we must never forget that there will be those who disagree, and it can feel like stepping on a land mine.
I will not allow this to stop me. As well it shouldn’t.