To the editor:
No matter your religion, political affiliation, gender, taste in music, or whatever other silly criteria you use to separate yourself from the general populace, I’m willing to bet you have heard this gem: do unto others as you would have them do to you. That is the golden rule, and according to British philosopher Simon Blackburn, it can be found “in some form, in almost every ethical tradition.”
If that’s true, why does it seem that people have forgotten the meaning?
I was absolutely ecstatic to attend a news conference this week with some fellow media-minded co-workers and friends. However, that elation faded fast after a guest speaker took a poorly timed photo that included yours truly as I helped myself to some breakfast. As most things do these days, the picture made its way to Facebook, and not 10 minutes later a comment had already been made — by a complete stranger — about how funny it was that the “fat” girl was “stuffing her face.”
I like to think that I am pretty good with my words, but I can tell you right now that no number of them can sum up how embarrassed, humiliated, ugly, and outright worthless I felt after reading one sentence from someone I have never met in my life.
I also like to think that I am not easily wounded. I am lovingly known as a “pit bull” among my friends and co-workers. I never thought that words written by someone over the Internet could hurt so badly — but they did.
Listen up, guys: the golden rule isn’t something that stops being relevant once you hit adulthood. Bullying is not left behind with the monkey bars and plastic slides on the playground. It is a very real tragedy that has driven too many to depression and even suicide.
Physical pain goes away eventually, but emotional scars do not.
Take a second and think before you open your mouth with a hurtful comment. Would you want someone calling you dumb, fat or ugly? I didn’t think so.
To contact Whitney Knight,