I recently received this comment on my “A Little About Me” post:
“How is this post going to make a difference in the world? Those who have been immortalized by our society is their willingness to make selfless sacrifices to better their fellow man, regardless of the cost. In your own words this blog is a for “Shameless Self-Promotion”. Not only are you writing this for yourself and with the sole hope of being worshiped after your passing, but you don’t see how your very attitude has doomed your ambitions from the beginning. How dare you compare yourself to Nelson Mandela and Gandhi? Do you honestly read about them and believe that you could make the emotional and physical sacrifices they have made? You are nothing more than a spoiled teenager who thinks that posting about her well-off life and complaining about mild adversity (if it can even be considered adversity) will deify her. If you really wan to make a difference, volunteer, donate money and good to charity, and instead of buying your latte every morning provide a homeless person with a meal. That’s a good starting place, not writing a blog.”
First off, I’m not going to lie, this stung a little. It’s not fun for anyone to receive negative criticism, especially when some of the foundations of what was said are based in truth. I AM a spoiled teenager (well, 20-year-old, but same thing), I AM posting about my well-off life, and I AM complaining about mild adversity. These things are all undeniably true. I am a young, middle class, white girl at an expensive small liberal arts college. I have a loving family, amazing friends, and am receiving an incredible education. I am fully aware that the adversity I will face in my entire life is not comparable to the adversity some people in the world face every day.
There are, however, some major flaws in the arguments of this comment. First of all, I’m not hoping, in any sense of the word, to be worshipped, especially not as a result of this blog. The sole purpose of this blog is to share some of my opinions – which may or may not be important (probably the latter). In the blog post that this comment was responding to, I specifically said, “I didn’t have anything profound to say.” I have never claimed that this blog was going to help the world in any way – this is purely for the enjoyment of myself and the potential enjoyment of those who choose to read my thoughts.
Second, I never meant to compare myself to Mandela and Gandhi in the hope that people would think of me like them. I wrote, “So here I am, writing this, trying to make what I’m writing matter to people other than my two friends who just laughed at my failed attempts at dates, trying to become someone who matters (obviously a lot less than people like Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, but you have to start somewhere, right?). Here goes nothing.” I made it clear that I was by no means going to matter as much as either of these two leaders – I do not honestly read about them and believe that I could make the emotional and physical sacrifices they have made – not in a million years. I was using them as examples of people who matter and who have made a difference – I do not consider myself someone who has done either of those things, I was just bringing them up because they are role models for people who would like to change the world someday.
Third, the piece of the comment that hurt the most was saying that I was nothing more than a spoiled teenager. I recognize the reasoning behind saying I am spoiled, but the truth is that I AM more than that. This blog is not my entire life, and I post about things that I think other people will find entertaining. I don’t write about every aspect of my life – like how I am the president of a community service club, or how I spend my spring breaks volunteering around the country, or how I spent my Halloween collecting cans for a local food shelf (oh wait, I did write about that… maybe you should read it). I recognize that I am in a very privileged position in society – most people do not get to have the experiences I do. I work very hard to check my privilege, though; I work two jobs, I donate my time and money to charity, I work hard in school, and I care about others. Writing this blog is, for me, just a creative outlet – it is not how I expect to change the world.
In conclusion, despite the harsh comment, I want to thank you for reading my blog (the entire thing, if I’m not mistaken), and for sharing your opinion. I also want to say that sometimes you really can’t judge a book by its cover, and I’d argue that this blog makes a strong case for that statement. So, Senior Esteban, I ask the following of you: don’t be so quick to judge, take what I’ve written into consideration, and please follow your own advice and “volunteer, donate money and good to charity, and instead of buying your latte every morning provide a homeless person with a meal.” That’s a good starting place, not writing snarky comments on blogs.