For each person cheering about the fate of the rioters and looters, it seems as though there’s another person standing in the background saying “who are we to judge these people?”. That’s a valid line of thinking, and there have been many posts made already about the evils of mob justice and social media and snitching. That’s not what this post is about, though.
M. Wallace left an interesting comment on my Only Human post:
I don’t by any stretch of the imagination defend the actions of the accused; if proved guilty, they should be punished accordingly. We all know what they have done is stupid, irresponsible, incomprehensible…(or insert any or all other derogatory adjectives of your choice here).
Okay now relax, take a deep breath and reflect on YOUR past for a moment. Haven’t you ever done anything stupid and/or illegal at some point in your life? Haven’t you ever been caught up in a moment and done something careless (even to a lesser degree) that you’ve regretted. I think many people are jumping on the self-righteous band wagon, joining the witch hunt and demanding we crucify the accused when there are skeletons in their own closets. Ironically, I’ve noticed many bloggers flirting with the boundaries of the law to see justice served. Again, I think it’s important to note that I don’t defend their actions however I think many people are getting off track. Yes, we love our city. Yes, we are embarrassed by what has happened. Yes, we don’t want this type of thing to occur again. Let’s focus our attention on the positive and let’s not forget that there are murderers and rapists out there that don’t get a fraction of the attention that these people are receiving.
So before you judge too harshly…what’s in your closet?
His/Her comment is far from the only one I’ve received in which people ask if I’d like MY past spread out all over the internet for people to see and judge; I’m only picking on it because it’s a) probably the most eloquent and b) the most recent, and I’m too lazy to dig through the rest for more.
So how about it? What’s in my closet? Am I so perfect that I have nothing in my past to be ashamed of? If the shoe was on the other foot, would I want my misdeeds hung out like dirty laundry for the world to see?
I got to thinking about my misspent youth and all the terrible things I’ve done, and decided the naysayers have a point. So, here: a comprehensive list of the horrible things I’ve done:
- When I was very young – like, 7 years old – I was a master thief of loose change. I got to be so adept at stealing quarters that my parents locked their bedroom to keep me out of the piggy banks. To get around this, I simply stole the key and continued raiding the change jar so I could buy candy.
- When I was 15, a group of friends and I threw some eggs off the top of a parking garage and we were busted by the cops (who were stationed on the main floor of the very same parking garage)
- I cheated on my Accounting 101 final project
- I’ve purchased illegal drugs
- I’ve abused prescription medicine
- I cheated on a boyfriend
- I rode my scooter in the bus only lane and got a ticket for it
- I (rightfully) contested a traffic violation in court mostly to see what would happen because I’ve never been in court before, and this undoubtedly cost the tax payers some money
- My license plate ran over a cop
How shameful of me. How would I feel if someone posted this information all over the internet so it could follow me for years?
- Here’s the egg story – I posted it in January 2005
- I confessed to cheating on my Accounting project in June of 2007
- Not one but two posts about buying illegal drugs!
- Those times I abused prescription medication
- Traffic violations are no fun
- .. so sometimes I waste taxpayer money for the hell of it
- My license plate ran over a cop, you say?
- I’ve blogged about being a pre-teen kleptomaniac before, but I can’t find the posts
- I haven’t blogged about cheating on a boyfriend because he’s also in the Social Media scene, it was 17 years ago, we’ve both moved on, and I have no desire to open old wounds
These are but some of the bad things I’ve done, but they’re likely the very worst because I am a square.
Let me know which ones are as bad as setting cars on fire, smashing store windows, looting, flipping cars, beating up strangers, torching cop cars, or punching police.
My whole point (and I do have one) is that yes, everyone has things they would hate to have out in the open – but it’s the severity and magnitude of your actions that dictate public response. Do I deserve to lose my job because I bought pot a couple times? Of course not. Would I deserve to lose my job if I was filmed and identified as being a drug kingpin responsible for untold amounts of public misery? Absolutely. Maybe that’s not the best analogy, but I stand by it – my misdeeds, youthful or otherwise, are nowhere NEAR as bad as anything that happened on Wednesday night, and it would have to be a slow news day in hell for anyone to want to out my actions on Facebook or blogs.
If you don’t want people to know your shameful actions, don’t do them in a public place.
If you don’t want to be named as a criminal, don’t commit crimes.
If you don’t want to hurt your family and friends, don’t do things that would hurt them.
This isn’t rocket science, people.
What’s in YOUR