Most of you won’t recognize the players or situation I’m referring to, but it may ring true in a different part of your life.
Recently an apology was published in a local newspaper for the incredibly ill-timed and insensitive (mostly because of timing) article written in the days after a tragic car crash killed two young men. To my understanding, alcohol was involved and both young men were underage. The article – again, to my understanding, was written by the paper’s either owner or editor – went on about how stupid people make stupid decisions.
Unpopular opinion: the writer isn’t wrong. Small caveat: even smart people make stupid decisions. Stupidity doesn’t stereotype. Now, before you shoot the messenger, let me explain I’m sharing my opinion out of love and understanding. And in those two words (love and understanding) the truth is a hard pill to swallow. No one wants to hear how a vehicle accident that killed two people was their fault. No one wants to acknowledge it could have been prevented. No one wants to experience a situation where their children die because of a choice they made.
Again, I’m not defending the writer of the article. I am saying I should not be here due to many of the choices I made as a young person. Let me check the statute of limitations. Ok – as a teenager I drove after having consumed alcohol. I rode in a vehicle with others whom I knew were too intoxicated to be driving. I was underage in every one of these examples. I know several young people who were killed in car accidents involving alcohol. I also know a person convicted of manslaughter after he killed someone while doing something stupid while driving while intoxicated. Please believe me when I say I have enough experience to say what the two young men killed recently were doing was incredibly stupid. The article writer was not wrong. Insensitive, yes, but not wrong.
Families and local citizens are up in arms about the article. Upon the writer’s written apology, it seems to have gotten worse. I have no doubt the writer is sorry for their words. However, most seem to be angry because the article reads like a copy/paste of an obituary. Once again, what other option did the writer have but to Google the information? I suspect the writer didn’t know the family(s) personally. The writer was doing what he/she does: writes. Of course it’s a public forum – a local newspaper – but (correct me if I’m wrong) many of the citizens all but banishing the writer from the community use their social media platforms as a bashing and rehashing tool themselves. Pot, kettle. It’s ok for us to endorse or completely tear apart others in our lives, but how dare someone else do so? Maybe these are even the people who have stood behind a wack job of a presidency (not necessarily current, but literally all of them). Seems it hits a little differently when it’s close to home, right?
If we want to be better, then we must do better. Forgive. Be the bigger person. Make a difference in your small town or big city. Vote. Better yet – if you don’t like what someone says or writes, then don’t follow them…unsubscribe from their publication…move… whatever it takes. But just because you can’t see their opinion does not make it wrong.
Lastly, talk with your children (or adult children) (or anyone) about the consequences of drinking and driving. What do you think the two young men who died would say about their actions – I doubt they’d say “oh it was worth it”.
Disclaimer: I probably won’t write an apology post so if this offends, angers, hurts, or causes someone to unfollow/unfriend/un-whatever me, we all have choices and I hope you make the best one for you.
I don’t have any questions or photos for this post because it was tough enough to type as is. Feel free to comment, if you’d like.
(The post Stupidity Does Not Stereotype first appeared here at Running on Fumes.)
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