Thursday, November 24, 2011

Burning Bridges

An Open Letter to Bridge Burners Everywhere:

I remember when you kicked me in the shin for saying, "Hey, what's the big idea"
I remember when you took a leather strap to my hand in first grade because I kept pushing a boy's hand off my desk.
I remember when you showed up an hour late for our movie date and I missed all the best parts because of you.
I remember when you didn't visit me in the hospital, even though you said you would.
I remember when you grabbed my pigtails and pulled them, hard.
I remember when you told me I was beautiful, but I then discovered you were just playing me like a gullible violin.
I remember when you made fun of my book on Twitter.

But guess what? I forgive you, my best friend, my teacher, my first boyfriend, my book reviewer. You're lucky you were only cruel to me because I'm not the kind of person who holds onto a good mad.

Some people might not be so forgiving. If you choose to be insulting, abusive or hostile in person or online, you might get the attention of the wrong person -- like an agent or editor or employer. Remember that when it's your turn to query or apply for that job, because they'll sure remember you.

Sometimes I think writers have a distinct advantage because they can exact subtle revenge by incorporating their past nemeses into their fiction. Too bad plumbers, shopkeepers and wait staff don't have such an outlet. But... maybe they do. *Checks soup for spittle*

People say stupid things, all the time. I've said them and I almost instantly regret them. Sometimes people say stupid things and they don't remember, or don't care.

People can be hurtful and cruel, or just plain ignorant. It's  too easy to be careless online and cause pain to another person. You might think it's a passing moment, but that moment is burned in, forever. Not just in someone's memories, but on the world wide web.

Think before you type...  and if you're ever on the receiving end of a careless post or email, I hope you can forgive your adversaries. Or at least turn them into trolls on paper.

On a lighter note, I'd like to wish my American friends a Happy Thanksgiving. May your tables groan, and later, your stomachs.

Picture credit: I don't know... this picture is EVERYWHERE!

Sandra Cormier is the author of BAD ICE, a hockey suspense. Hockey. Passion. Jealousy. A hat trick that could lead to danger. 


January Bain said...

My day job is as a school teacher and I am too aware of how many students burn bridges with abandonment not realizing that the new reality of virtual reality is that the words never go away. I worry for their futures when a perspective employer researches their name on the WWW?!

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

Good and advice, and a caution by January. It is easy to say something, even something that can be misinterpreted, copied, slanted and redistributed on the Net.

Moma always said, "If you can't say somenthing nice, don't say anything."

January Bain said...

Momma was right!!!