An Open Letter To Mean People Everywhere
You know who you are. Youíre the kids who†bullied that poor bus driver until she cried. Youíre the ones who tortured and killed Matthew Shepard because he was gay. Youíre the cliques in high school who band together to make fun of the girls who arenít as pretty as you are. Youíre the society women committed to ruining the lives of those who refuse to follow your stupid, fear-driven rules. Youíre the guys at work who steal other peopleís ideas and fail to give credit where credit is due.
Youíre the assholes who stiff hard-working waitresses after youíve made their lives miserable during your whole meal because youíre delusional enough to think youíre better than they are. Youíre the doctors who abuse your power and treat your medical students like theyíre gum on your shoe. Youíre the unscrupulous people like Bernie Madoff, who run off with other peopleís hard-earned money because of your own greed.† Youíre Osama bin Laden and everyone else in Al Qaeda.
Youíre the parents who abuse your kids. Youíre the men who rape women. Youíre the crooks and murderers and corporate thieves in white collars.
You know who you are, and I have a few things I want to say to you.
You Did Something Mean, But Youíre Still Valuable
I know itís a slippery slope, and when youíve done your first mean thing, itís easier and easier to keep being mean because you feel like a total loser as a result of what youíve done. Because you have trouble forgiving yourself, you just keep hurting others. Because youíre mean to others, youíre also mean to yourself.
I know you know that what youíre doing is out of alignment with the integrity of your highest self, that part of you that is a little slice of divinity, that†Inner Pilot Light that never flickers out, even though it grows dim in the darkness of your mean self.
I know part of you wants to stop being mean, because we all have compassion and kindness within us. We sometimes just lose our way, and when we get so lost, itís hard to find our way back home. But I want you to know that home is always within you, forgiveness is always possible, and itís never too late to stop being mean and start being kind.
Even though you did something mean, I want you to know that youíre still valuable, that youíre worthy of love and tenderness and compassion. No matter how horrible your deed, you donít have to flog yourself for the rest of your life. You only have to do what you can to right your wrongs, ask for forgiveness from those youíve hurt, and most of all, forgive yourself.
Donít Keep Pushing ďRepeatĒ
You are a precious child of Divine Light, with that spark of divinity within dying to brighten its radiance. The world needs more light and love, and you can be part of the illumination of the world, if only you make the conscious choice to stop being mean and start spreading love in the world.
I know you screwed up. Iím not judging you for it. Iím forgiving you for it, because everyone deserves grace and a second chance. But can you receive it? Can you let anyone love you? Or are you so locked down because of what youíve done that you canít let light in?
Please, donít keep pushing ďRepeat.Ē Just because you were once mean doesnít mean you have to stay that way. Trust me. Kindness feels so much better. I know the transition will be hard. Other mean people will try to keep you down. Some arenít so willing to forgive. Grudges are held. Those youíve tormented may want revenge. You may even wind up in jail. But even in prison, kindness can blossom, and you can heal.
Forgive Those Who Were Mean To You
I donít blame you for being so mean. I know others were probably mean to you. You may have had meanness modeled for you most of your life. You probably donít feel as loved as you should. And everyone is deserving of love and affection, especially you.
You may hold grudges of your own, and in carrying your anger and resentment around like badges, you perpetuate the wounding done to you. You hurt others as you were hurt. But it doesnít have to be that way.
There is another way. You can forgive those who hurt you and stop inflicting more wounds on an already wounded world. Itís up to you. All you have to do is let the light shine through you. Itís there. I promise, and itís yours to shine forth.
One Act of Kindness
If youíre ready to stop being mean, start by practicing one simple act of kindness. Choose one thing you can do today. Pay someoneís toll. Buy someoneís lunch. Give flowers to a stranger. Write a letter of forgiveness. Volunteer for a charity. Do something kind.
The next day, do one more kind thing. And then another. Pair that with doing one less mean thing. Cut back. Then forgive yourself again. Treat yourself like the gifted child you are in your heart. Forgive the hurting child in you, and you will free yourself, one baby step at a time.
Until then, know that you are lovable, valuable, and worthy. You are precious, special, and deserving. Joy can be yours. You can belong. Anything is possible.
I believe in you,