There's this person I knew, and he did a bad thing. He got in trouble for it, and he faces jail time for it, and that should be the end of it.
But it isn't.
There was a mention of it in the paper. Brief, but to the point. Suddenly, it was public news. Now, given the nature of the bad thing, I'm not at all surprised that it was considered newsworthy, as arrests for much more mundane things are posted as newsworthy material. But THAT should have been the end of it.
But it wasn't.
Upon discovering this particular news item, some unknown number of individuals took it upon themselves to spread the word of this bad thing and the ensuing arrest. They posted about it on this person's work-related facebook account, on craigslist, and I don't even know where else. They called him names. They ruined his reputation, and perhaps even his career.
To those people, even though they'll never see this post, I'd like to say: SHAME ON YOU. A person screwed up. A person has an illness. A person got in trouble. Let it be! Why add to their misery by attacking them on every possible front? I noticed that none of the public "dings" I saw were signed--what, you're man enough to call someone out for screwing up, but not man enough to stand behind the things you say about him?
Now, I have my own personal issues with the person who screwed up. I feel I have been wronged by him in the past, but, while I've wanted all traces of him removed from my life, I didn't want anything like this to happen to him. I didn't want his private matters to be made public, nor did I want to see his way of making a living threatened. His reputation was crucial for keeping him in work, and I don't know now if he's able to work at all. I don't know if anybody's standing by him as he struggles through his shame... And, no matter how much he may have hurt me in the past, I don't think anyone deserves to walk that path alone.
I had told myself that I had forgiven him for what he'd done to me, even while I'm still struggling in therapy to recover from it... But I guess I didn't know for sure whether I truly forgave him until I saw the remnants of what appears to have been a mighty internet blitz attack. If I didn't forgive him, I couldn't wish better for him than that. I couldn't hope the way I do that someone is by his side right now, helping him along. If I didn't forgive him, I'd be rejoicing in his public shame and suffering instead of hurting for him the way I do now.
What can I say? The public loves its drama... But I guess I don't. I really did wish better for him.