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.