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.