Dear World, Please Stop Killing The Sweet People

Dear World,

I’m sick of it.

I used to think it was normal, used to think this just how you are.

But now I don’t care if that’s how it is.  Or that it’s normal.

What I care about is there are people hurting and confused.  People who don’t understand why you don’t get them.  Who, the more they act like themselves, the more they seem to be told to stop.

The Sweet People, I call them.

They’re the people that cry when they watch movies (men and women alike), who write poetry just because, who think about G-d and the universe and death and life more often than the rest of the world.

They’re the people that want to create.  Create art, create computer programs, create just a good deep conversation…

They’re often weird.  They don’t fit in because they spend more time in their brains than out in the world. And so they stray from the crowd, whether they like it or not.

And, of course, they never like it.

Because, World, you like to mess with the Sweet People.

You’ve made it seem like teasing is normal.  From grade school to high school to college to the workaday world, teasing has become something normal in our world. We’ve accepted it as a valid form of joking.

And, of course, it never is.  It’s a way to tear a person down without overtly hurting them.  It’s a way to hurt someone from the inside out, whether we realize it or not.

And the inside is where the Sweet People are the most vulnerable.  Teasing tears them up like tissue paper, whether they’ll admit it to you or not.

I think, World, that you’ve killed so many of these Sweet people.  Maybe not literally killed (although that happens plenty too), but you’ve at least convinced them that their lives aren’t valid.  And the more they agree, the more they’re dying, even if they’re walking around with the rest of us.

And then there’s the Serious People you’ve popped into existence, dear World, who are so often just jaded Sweet People.

The Serious People are the ones who become the kind of teachers that ignore beauty and creativity and instead focus on making their charges fit into a snug, small, logical, box.  They’re the kind of people that spend their lives criticizing instead of building.  The people who like to talk about fallacies and logic, but end up just using those things to their own ends.  And the Sweet People are their easiest targets, because the Sweet People are hardly ever logical.

And then, World, you’ve made the Hard People, the ones who don’t get the Sweet People.  It’s not really their fault, I’m sure that the Sweet People don’t get the Hard People.  But the problem is we’ve built a world where being Hard, where believing that the world is a place where we just need to be tough and “deal with it” is the only way to live.  And so the Hard People look at the Sweet People and they say, “Suck it up!  Grow up!”

And of course, there are so many other kinds of people that just don’t get the Sweet People.  It’s life, it’s the way you, dear World, have been constructed.  Indeed, there’s nothing inherently wrong with Hard and Serious People.  But it’s the way you give the perception that they are the only “normal” that damages the Sweet People.

It’s why you diagnose perfectly healthy people with different mental illnesses like depression and bipolar (disclaimer: ain’t nothing wrong with being those things, though, if that’s what you actually are).  Because you don’t understand them and how they work, and so you throw pills their way and ask them to fit in.  And all you do is numb their pain.

World, I am tired of it because I know so many Sweet People, people that need to constantly be reminded that it’s okay to be sweet, to be who they are.  Who just need to tap into their illogical, creative side to be happy.  People who would be so fulfilled if only  they were allowed to cry for no reason, to write poetry, to not fit so well into the educational system, to be as weird as they need to be.

But you, World, just keep telling them that they’re wrong for feeling that way.

And so you’re killing them, whether you realize it or not.

You’ll only be a Good World, dear World, when the soft, sweet, people can live their lives the way they’re meant to.  You’ll only be a Just World, dear World, when the Hard and the Serious learn from the Sweet and vice versa.

Until then, you’re a lopsided world, a world focused so much more on hardness and seriousness than on exploration, on creativity, on illogicality.

  • Quiet self

    Thank you.

  • milhousetrabajo

    very R’ Shlomo-ish. keep up the good work.

  • shirshelshalom

    I second the thank you.

  • Ruhina

    This is really prevalent and true. I think this can also be a metaphor for growing up… there is so much pressure on so called “sweet” adolescents to become like their peers, who are becoming more and more stoic, which kills their self confidence and individuality. Its really just a never ending cycle, when those kids squash other kids…who teach other kids…

    Just think about it, in mainstream American society, its weird to have a conversation about religion. This just shows how much we have to embrace, how much we have to go despite the long steps we have made towards social equality in the US (compared to other countries at least).

    But at the same time I think that “sweet people” and “hard people” are arbitrary terms, and most people fit in in the middle. We rarely see one or the other, and most people I know have both a ‘sweet side’ and a ‘hard side’ (most seen in public vs private. yet another problem!). What needs to be taught is that both are okay, and you shouldn’t be embarrassed for what type of person you naturally are.

    Keep writing more of this analysis and anthropology! I like it.

    • Okay, how the heck are you in middle school? You’re too wise and awesome to be that young.

  • Mushka S

    A recipe needs all the ingredients to turn out best. We NEED each person to be who they are. Each person adds so much and when he suppressess or changes who s/he really is we all lose out. We need to nurture the sweet and often delicate souls and allow them to stand strong amongst the others.
    Thank you for writing and sharing such a beautiful, sweet and meaningful article.

    • hana nouch

      Absolutely true !

  • Malka Hellinger Forshner

    Your line, “teasing tears them up like tissue paper…” is so sensitive and poetic…..It could be the title of a poem, a poem that I could write, as well…..

    • I’d love to read that poem.

      • Malka Hellinger Forshner

        well, I’d rather write that than the writing project that I’m in the middle of…but there’s a Rabbi with a deadline, so I’m going try and stay focused…I could use it as a reward to myself, like saying I’ll get dessert if I finish my dinner……

  • hana nouch

    Beautiful… to read this one the second day of Eid which I am celebrating, is a true gift ! 🙂
    thank you…