Stands < Scrimmage Line

It’s the easiest thing in the world to heckle from the stands. To quarterback from the La-Z-Boy. To second guess after the moment of decision has passed. To take your minimum of knowledge and yell at the top of your proverbial lungs how everyone is doing it wrong.

We see this play out online in increasingly verbally violent manner—people spending inordinate amounts of time finding anything or anyone they disagree with and picking fights (in 140 characters or less no less). They mount mini-campaigns. They scream. They spit. They gnash. And all in the name of some sense of rightness or perceived wrongness of the other. They’re stuck in the stands, hurtling towards mediocrity, convinced of their superior thinking.

But what I never see people doing is putting legs to their complaint. You say you care so much about [insert organization or movement or system or belief here]? You see so much wrong with it? Then why aren’t you involved? Why aren’t you in the middle of the damn thing? If you won’t set-up shop at the scrimmage line and fight to change something alongside other people from the inside out, you’re all talk. You’ve got no teeth. And you’re ridiculously easy to ignore because you just don’t know anything and you aren’t doing anything. 

It’s much more difficult to stick around and work together, especially (perhaps most importantly) with people you don’t always agree with. Because all the bluster and bitching and words in the world don’t hold any weight if you won’t act on them. When you claim to have beliefs, virtues, and standards that you refuse to act on you’re in the stands, wailing at the wind, feigning care and loving the sound of your own voice. You’re a hypocrite. You’re what you hate. You become what you be-tweet. 

You say you care about something? If it’s important, put down some roots. Dig in and help change it. Or please just shut up.