Scrolling through the comments, I could not believe the number of people who don't even know Debbie making the most rude and crude criticisms imaginable. Some people accused her of trying to get her name in the paper. Which is funny since Debbie turns bright red whenever she's the center of attention and shakes when she has to give employee recognition speeches once a year. One person said that "Thornton is the type of person.." who would get upset if someone said a church steeple was "erected." That one was also funny since Debbie no doubt, like most nurses, left behind the prim and proper at the door a long time ago. Nursing is no place to be coy or prudish. Professional, yes. In denial about bodily functions? No.
It was hard to see so many strangers rip Debbie to shreds on the internet so casually. As they sipped their morning coffee they typed noxious generalizations about a woman they don't know. Either stealing from their desk jobs by surfing the net at work, or sitting at home in their underwear they judged Debbie soundly with definitives about what kind of person she is and whether or not she should be in the profession she's in.
And they weren't just rude to Debbie, even some of the people who backed her up said things about the MBTA that were unfounded and hateful. Debbie doesn't think that all MBTA drivers are "lazy," or "stupid," and she certainly didn't imply, as one commenter did, that the man was "intoxicated." Why the hate? Then, when people couldn't agree about a point, they turned on each other - the jurors in this imaginary trial devouring one another before a verdict could be reached.
How quick we all are to judge. In some cases it's a good thing, it's why our brains are hardwired to do it in the first place. Is that berry poisonous? Will the man approaching me on the street strike me dead or wave hello? But we've done something wrong when we can sit at home and hang people with mere keystrokes. Especially people like Debbie, a nurse who has spent her life taking care of other people, and most recently in her career, people for whom few others have any pity, any compassion or any time.
Then again, most educated people know that the rumblings of idiots in the comments section of Boston.com articles mean very little. They are rendered immediately useless by the casual access of the authors. And isn't my blog, by definition a bit of the same? In condemning those rude commentators aren't I exercising the same right they were?
In the end, we should be thankful that we're allowed to call to report things that we believe are wrong. And... we should be thankful that people are allowed to argue in a public forum over whether or not it was really wrong. Because we could be living in a police state. We could be living in a country like China right now. We could be in any number of small dictatorships all over the world but instead we're here.
Thankfully Debbie was able to laugh about the majority of the comments as we scrolled down the list in her office this morning before work. She's a very strong woman, a great leader, definitely not a prude or a "peeping Jane," and will not be quitting the medical field any time soon. Or definitely not before it becomes legal to just pee anywhere you want, no matter what you're doing or who's around.