This past week, I was exposed to what I must say was one of the most grotesque displays of human cruelty I have ever witnessed. Even now as I think about it, I am appalled. 

Many of you know that Dave Goldberg (the husband of Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO, Author of Lean In, and advocate of equality for women) died suddenly of head trauma while on a family vacation in Mexico. 

This news struck me harder than usual celebrity deaths, because I recently read Lean In and learned about Sheryl’s personal story, so I felt strangely connected to her in this. 

I know how it feels to be a strong woman being attacked by outsiders because of your opposing views, and having to stand tall and poised in the public eye as if you are not affected at all, only to go home to your husband and cry your eyes out about the hurtful things that were said to you. 

And I know how that husband holds you and pumps you back up, telling you you’re amazing and that they’re all insecure delusional idiots who know nothing past the end of their nose. 

And that slowly, through all his logical reasoning in your absolute favor, you come out of your sadness and rise again. So the world only ever knows you as strong and confident, and they can’t demolish you.

When Dave died, I thought about how she just lost the only person she’s allowed to be weak around. The only person who knows who she really is underneath all the strength and success and confidence. He’s the one who knows about her late night panics about being a horrible mother, or her fear that she may just be crazy after all. He’s the only one who gets to hear when she’s feeling afraid or maybe even a little wild. He’s that person for her.

And now he’s gone.

I couldn’t help but feel the huge loss she must be experiencing. 

So when I happened upon a certain blog post (I refuse to tell you who wrote it, as I don’t want to encourage traffic to their blog) written about Dave’s death, I could not believe what I was seeing.

Obviously bitter about not being able to live up to what she felt were Sheryl Sandberg’s unrealistic expectations of a woman, she slandered and defaced both Sheryl’s and Dave’s person.

She spoke authoritatively and without any reasonable proof, that Dave committed suicide because of how unhappy he was being married to Sheryl. She talked about his weight gain, and how Sheryl said he was the perfect husband, but what about now that he’d killed himself?

She then mocked Sheryl saying, “Do we still have to lean in now that you’re a single mom?” Spewing hatred towards Sheryl in every way possible, delighting over Sheryl’s loss.

And the worst part is, this was on a very large blog, so chances are, Sheryl will see and hear about this. And you know what? She won’t even have Dave’s shoulder to cry on. 

What kind of a person does that? What do you have to gain? Publicity? Payback for her making you feel like less of a person because you couldn’t have a huge career and also be a good mom? I don’t get it.

This kind of malice leaves me with such a sad heart. This is a part of the world I will never understand. 

I think we forget that celebrities, and politicians, and the wealthy, are all just people too. They bleed red the same that we do, and they struggle with wounds and insecurities just like us. Just as it’s not okay to go around maliciously hurting your direct connections, it’s not okay to hurt people from behind your computer screen either. 

Be Kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. -Plato Click To Tweet

Know yourself. For the more you know about yourself, the more beauty you will be able to see in your “imperfections”. And the more you can accept your imperfections, the more you will be able to accept the imperfections of those around you. We’re all just people, and we are not beautiful in spite of that fact, but because of it. 


This post is part of the Friday Reflections Link Up with Janine @ Reflections From a Redhead and Mackenzie @ Reflections From Me. Join the link up and share in the conversation. 

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13 thoughts on “Be Kind. We’re All Just People.”

  1. I was so upset by this post. It is just so upsetting that such cruelty exists in this world. I don’t know what to say, except I believe in the power of energy and it seems to me there is a lot of love flying Sheryl’s way so hopefully she feels it and draws strength from it.

  2. Oooo I am so glad I didnt read that post. I would have been irate! Lean In is one of my all time fave books and even though I don’t know Sheryl, having read her story and followed her, as well as having seen pics of her and Dave walking hand in hand smiling, along with the fact that Dave was the same age as my D is, and that Dave suffered a freak accident like D did a few years ago…yet D lived…Life is so fleeting, so previous, so fragile. Gosh it got me thinking about the ‘what ifs’. What if I hadn’t found him so soon. What if he hadn’t woke up. What if….

    This is the other side of blogging and social media – the bad side where the ego, the lack of thinking, the hate and vitriol, the attention seeking, whatever its is, takes over. I’ve read in many blogging ‘how to’ resources how you should find something pertinent in the news or something thats trending and write on that, but to spew hateful untruths is sickening – BUT people read it and/or believe. I’m not going to seek out the article in question because they don’t deserve my click / stat / read / comment, etc etc.

    1. I didn’t know your story about D. That’s so scary. It’s amazing how things can just be going along in life and then out of nowhere, everything changes.

      Thanks for stopping by.

  3. I think it’s fascinating that we can feel so much more connected to the truth of someone else’s pain after gaining an insight into that persons life. Reading Sheryls book increased the empathy that you shared with her, and brought back into focus the real person behind the successful business woman. If only more people would take the time to remember that no matter how famous, controversial or successful we are, we all love, lose & grieve eventually.

    1. That was the thing, I felt connected because she talks about her life with her husband and children in her book. It personified her.

      Thanks for stopping by. :)

  4. I agree with both of you. The internet tends to disinhibit people, and they often say things with little thought behind them. I actually read the article you speak of Tara, and find that it smacks a lot of one woman trying to boost her own business career at the expense of another with a more successful career. I feel it is ok to question something you read on the news, but at the end of the day, no matter how Dave Goldberg died, his family still has to deal with his loss.

    I just wondered, if the blogger had Sheryl Sandberg’s job, would she be so swift to make posts like this? I think she might weigh her words a bit more carefully before spewing them out. It looked like a hastily written post. It had many typos, which usually means it was written in a hurry, or in a heightened state of emotion. Just my opinion. :)

    1. Well put Cathy. It’s not in the questioning that we find fault, but in the attacking. There are ways to fight fair, and this was not one of them.

  5. So many people use the Internet to channel poisonous thoughts. I think that the fact that they do not need face the other person makes them strong in their coward acts. No loss is to be laughed at because it leaves an empty space that will never heal. For the person who wrote the mockery, may our kindness reach her and a little bit of life warm her soul.

    1. Too true. I think the screen separates us from the humanity of a person. We cannot feel their soul, so we dehumanize them and treat them in a way we would have never treated them in person. Or maybe not. I’ve experienced maliciousness in person as well. But the internet has brought out many a beast and given them a voice they would have otherwise not had.

      Thanks for stopping by.

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