There are few things harsher than criticism barbed with cruelty. As a blogger and designer, I put myself at risk whenever I publish a post or create an illustration.
If you wear your heart on your sleeve, it can be expected it will become bruised from time to time. Exposing one’s heart, joy, soul and love is risky business. Voicing a thought, idea, opinion will always invite a response. Good or bad.
I’ve been thinking about this phenomenon of “haters”. People who comment on blogs with venemous insults. Almost as if they have picked a blog post at random where they can unfurl their frustrations. Is this some new form of release? Conveniently anonymous and seemingly without consequence? How much of it is random, and how much relevant to the content of a post? Is the hater’s intent to besmirch, to disagree, or just to lash out at anyone accessible?
There are a few bloggers I really admire and I’ve read the hateful things others have said after their posts. These vitriolic comments are far outnumbered by the thoughtful and considerate ones but we all know one negative word can blind us to the positive.
I’ve wondered how much I should share on my blog. How much anyone cares? One blogger/photographer I adore is very hesitant to share her stories for fear of the negative feedback. This past year I’ve wondered how this can be avoided. I would love for her to blog anyway. How many wonderful stories has she held back out of fear?
Of course there are haters in real life too. I’ve met a bully or two in my day. I have always been left wondering how I can fix myself to be more likeable, to have avoided being disliked. Then one day it occurred to me that even God (in any religion) has haters. How more perfect could I be? If even an omniscient, all powerful existence can be so disliked, then why am I trying to avoid a few insults? The Dalai Lama has haters. Gandhi had haters. The Queen has haters. Oprah has haters. Leaders have haters. People who don’t have haters probably just don’t say much.
Much worse than amazing people being hated? Notorious people being loved for their violence and crimes. If despicable criminals can be so revered by some then we simply have to accept that some people live a very sad and limited existence. We cannot be silenced by their words or actions.
Haters cannot be avoided. So, it is best to let the haters hate. They clearly need the release. Maybe it will keep them from taking out their frustrations on someone in their actual real life surroundings. Maybe.
Why do they hate? My theory is that too many people have not learned to love or have been so hurt they can no longer love. In order to connect with others they need to feel strong emotion. The only emotion available to them is hate. Or anger. Their need to comment with horrible words is their desperate need to connect with humanity, however misguided.
My point? Do not stop creating, writing, or sharing. Be inspired by the ones who appreciate your insight and share your worldview. Let their joy be your motivation. Write for the haters too. Their comments are proof that they are listening. They are being affected by your words. Underneath their shields of insult, you have hit a nerve.
Most importantly, create for yourself. Your own joy matters most of all.