When I started my blog over 4 years ago, I was encouraged and even praised for saying the things that people could relate and agree with. It was encouraging and spurred me on to post more. But it wasn’t long before little dark spots began to seep through the light. More and more people would hate me, for no apparent reason. They’d argue with me about one topic while I was talking about a whole other topic and be totally confused as to how there ever came to be an argument.
Over the last year especially, I feel like a boxer in the ring, never getting a timeout in between rounds, having to keep my feet moving the whole time all the time keeping my defenses up at the same time.
The more people that become aware of my activism and more so, of me, the more people there is on the opposite side of the boxing ring that are taking swings at me.
There are people that are just looking for fights. They aren’t bad people, they’re just angry. It will not matter at all what you try to discuss, they will pick a fight with you. As I said, sometimes it leads to them arguing about your topic by introducing a whole other topic that has no business being involved in the discussion at all except to serve the purpose of being a reason to fight.
Worst of all though are the bullies. The people that are jealous of what you do, what you’ve become and who you are. If you find yourself on the television news because you are making such a positive difference in people’s lives, you can be sure that you will inherit a whole new group of low life bullies that seek out your Facebook page, your email address, phone number and more. And why? Because you are doing something nice? Because you’re helping people?
I kind of look at activism in much the same way as gambling. You take a big risk putting yourself out there and in the beginning, you get a few small wins. Those wins make you think that you really have a shot at doing well. So you start putting in more time and taking bigger risks. Eventually though, you start wondering if all those wins are really worth it when you start to realize that the deeper you get, the better the chances are that you’ll lose it all.
You can see this happen with celebrities. No matter how well loved or celebrated they may be, by the entire world it seems, they will still always have a very vocal group of people that want nothing more than to cut that celebrity down and make them feel terrible. There’s no reason for it, or at least I should say, no logical reason that I would ever see. I am sure those people have their reasons but I make no effort to understand nor share in those reasons.
When I started my Minecraft server to help children with autism and their families, I became a huge target of this. The more people that knew my name, the more I would receive emails, phone calls, friend requests and more… and not to be my friend neither. It was to send me threats or terrible messages.
I don’t often speak or write about it but the truth is, the more that I get recognized, the more I get targeted by bad people.
Over the last year I’ve heard from many children with autism saying that they wish to do the same as I have done, or even more. And while I admire that in them and I applaud them for wanting to do good in this world, a part of me fears for them. I know what is awaiting them if they were to try do something grand, something wonderful. What’s waiting for them isn’t so wonderful.
I sit and watch as someone shares on Facebook how they do something wonderful in their community to make sure that people that are going hungry will get food donations… I watch as praise comes in for a while until eventually the conversation spirals out of control and turns into arguments and turmoil and eventually this person doing this great thing is left wondering what they just got themselves into.
It’s important to remind yourself, if you blog, run a program, do charity work or any other sort of activism, it’s worth it.
The people you help are a very real tangible thing. That’s progress, that’s a change in the world. That’s something.
People that try to upset you, anger you, fight with you or just be a terrible human being in general, that’s nothing. That’s not real. That’s a tiny little thing in the world coming from a tiny little person.
Over time, with enough of them doing it long enough, it can become overwhelming and we question what we’re doing, why we’re doing it and if we can do it any longer but the truth is… we really can.
That one terrible person may shout louder than the 100 great people that are supporting you but it’s still just one person out of a hundred. You must never lose sight of the big picture and that big picture is bigger than you, it’s bigger than the terrible people in the world… it is the world.
Keep your head up, keep walking passed the haters.
And if you can’t, help someone that can. Stay behind the scenes, there’s no shame in that.
So long as progress is made, so long as a difference is being made.
Never let one terrible person stop you from all the good you can do.