Tuesday, October 20, 2009

An Open Letter to People Who Write Open Letters

Dear People Who Write Open Letters,

I want you to know that I dearly respect what you do. Please know that I am all about grassroots social change. Letters have always been a part of grassroots social change, and now there is the "Open Letter", which allows not only the recipent to know the writer's views, but many others as well.

But, dear People Who Write Open Letters, the people to whom you address your open letters never read them. Now I may just be cynical and pessimistic, but I think that you know this and write the Open Letter anyway. If the person you're claiming you're writing to would actually read the letter, you wouldn't have to make it open in the first place. That's a little underhanded of you. Why not take the completely honest path and just tell the people who are actually going to read it what you think?

I suppose there's the million to one odds that the person your Open Letter is for will somehow, someway, stumble across your letter and take the 10 or so minutes out of their busy schedule to go through it. I don't think it's likely, though. I think it's even less likely they would change their minds on whatever matter you wrote them about, knowing that you just criticized them in front of the whole world (theoretically), so let's just say it's probably a 10 million to one odds.

People Who Write Open Letters, please know I'm not making a judgment on your person or your views. I just think that your medium for sharing information is pretty deceptive: your intended audience is not who you say it is, at least in my view of it. If you disagree with me, please let me know: I am willing to dialogue with you and I KNOW you're reading this.


Bill E.

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