An Open Letter To Those Who Believe Their Opinions Are Valid Enough To Write Open Letters
By: A Sensitive Man
August 13, 2016
To Whom It May Concern,
I don’t know about you; maybe I’m just a cynic who is drawn to people complaining, but I’ve noticed a boom in open letters the last couple of years on the Internet produced by a colorful spectrum of voices: from celebrities offering advice or thirty somethings yelling at twenty somethings for yelling at somethings who are yelling because ultimately, they’re looking for something to say.
Don’t get me wrong, the opinions and subjects of these letters are not what annoy me about this soapbox mentality that the Internet has downloaded to so many brains. Even annoying opinions are formed from someone who has been “thinking.” (“Thinking” being a loose term here.) The real issue with this platform goes beyond what is being said and even beyond who forms the words. The issue is the “instinctive” nature that people have now become accustomed to in an effort to “do something.” Writing open letters on the internet is not only the first thing we resort to when attempting to support or bring change to the issue at hand, but we feel that writing open letters, creating hashtags, or adding a profile picture overlay of a French flag are enough, and have become pompous enough to sleep at night, comfortable in the idea that “I did all I could.”
What else could I possibly expect, though?! Have I not been around to see the state of the world recently? I get it, “tumultuous” is too shallow a word when it comes to illustrating the state of this planet in the last couple of years. Between unfathomable massacres, economic crumble, unjustifiable injustice, and frighteningly real political figures, we as a people are starting to understand that weight is not determined by mass but time; that the longer we are crushed by something, the heavier it is, and we’ve been carrying this infected mass of grief, confusion, and anger for too long. When things get heavy, it is difficult to find the strength to do things. We become lost. We become hopeless. We become crippled by emotions we struggle to understand. Do not mistake this message as a judgment. We have all been there, myself included.
However comma, even in our darkest of headspaces, I refuse to believe that the generation I subscribe to is only strong enough to “write an open letter” or “create a hashtag” and be content that it is enough. It is not enough. If your intention is to educate somebody with an open letter, practice what you preach. Go out there and be the example for those who clearly do not have one. If your intention is to show support to a cause, hashtags and profile picture overlays ultimately do nothing but stroke your own ego by showing others how you feel about something.
Just. Do. Something.
…but what? Who do I think I am? Telling you to do something and not giving a suggestion?
Well, here’s what you can do. Volunteer if you have time. Help raise awareness in the real world. Time is just as precious to organizations, if not more, than fiscal donations.
But I don’t have time…
Okay. What about that pile of sweaters in your closet that you have no business owning for whatever reason? Have a garage sale. Donate a portion of the proceeds to a charity you’re trying to support. Or have an auction online via your social media accounts if you do not have the space to set up a physical garage sale.
But I have nothing to sell…
Sure you do! Make things. Sell them or donate them. There are plenty of thrift shops that are not for profit where all proceeds are directly given to causes they support. Write a song and sell it on iTunes. Make a video with ad space on it.
My point is, you can do enough. I know I’m not the first person who has ever told you that actions speak louder than words. Hashtags and open letters do not fit the bill.
Are you already doing something or going to? Send it my way and I’ll help you spread the word.
Let’s go, kids. The world needs us right now.
Love & Light,
A Sensitive Man