I’m writing to discuss an issue that seems to be on the rise, especially of late: character assassination. A wolf can indeed be in sheep’s clothing. It involves people who represent themselves in a certain light and then switch for their own interest or agenda. There is a lot of this going on these days. It could be to help oneself combat his or her own inadequacies, to feel better about his or herself, help bolster a position of power or create a heightened sense of it, etc.
When someone assaults another person’s character, it can greatly damage another person’s reputation and hurt those who are close to them. I’ve heard more than once, “They get what they deserve.” Everyone makes mistakes, some more colossal than others, but inflaming someone publicly, intentional or not, only creates more problems and doesn’t solve anything. It’s just not right.
When a person doesn’t take responsibility for inflicting this pain on another, it amplifies the harm already done. If you hear something about another person that reflects his or her character as being negative, immoral or unethical, keep in mind that what you are hearing may be untrue, distorted, exaggerated or manipulated. Don’t automatically believe what you hear, especially where news and social media is concerned. There is likely information missing from the story. Don’t take it upon yourself to fill in the gaps. Go to the person targeted and discuss it with him or her directly.
Laurie La Violette