It really threw me, the unpleasantness of it all.
And the hatred. In fact, more than the hatred in itself, it was the rapidity with which that hatred came out that shocked me.
I replied to someone on Twitter – we’re not following each other, nor would I knowing what I know now. I replied to a tweet that seemed unbalanced. I tried and failed to provide a little balance. It comes down to a question I am very interested in:
Whether good people are all good and bad people are all bad. This theme features in my books a lot.
I believe that, with a few obvious exceptions, it is a spectrum. Good people do bad things and bad people do good things. I tried to explain that, in my opinion, history, like life, is not simple, that motivations can be huge and varied. People do good and bad for bad and good reasons respectively.
Almost everyone, I believe, has redeeming features.
Not so according to this fellow and his group of supporters. They lashed out, leaving me stunned. They seemed to be saying “how dare you suggest so-and-so has anything to possibly redeem him/herself. You must be a…”.and the insults started flowing.
And the clever tricks too. I replied to the main person as a reply, not re-tweeting it, thinking this a more private way to do it. He replied to me and then re-tweeted his reply. Thus my side of any argument was hard to find but his was spread across the screens of all his followers.
I would never give names. I’ve used “his” for convenience; it could easily be a “her”. In fact, we never know the people we converse with on social media, unless they are real-life friends or acquaintances. I think it unlikely that this person will ever read this article. But if they do, I hope they will reflect and ultimately agree that almost everyone has redeeming aspects somewhere about them. Perhaps the nature of true evil is a lack of any redeeming features. Parchman, the main baddie in my Dorset Chronicles series of historical fiction set in the late 17th Century, might be such a character. But so often in my writing, the bad people find an opportunity to reform – or have it thrust upon them by either kind-heartedness or circumstance.
And I would not put it past Parchman to be capable of some reform – indeed am tempted by the prospect, however slight a hope it is.
I suppose it is the parable of the Prodigal Son/ Daughter all over again.
Because, everyone is someone’s son or daughter. At least since Adam and Eve.
See more about The Dorset Chronicles at https://chrisoswaldbooks.com/books/
Book 4, One Shot in the Storm, coming out very soon, takes the relationship between good and bad to a new level, with redemption firmly in there somewhere.