First year assessment

Turning hate into love

A Sunshine Coast mother has taken to Facebook to write about an incident at her local Coles. Katie Maree has written an open letter on the Sunny Coast Community Board directed at an unknown woman who commented on her children’s behaviour.

What the woman didn’t know is Katie’s children suffer from autism.

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The Facebook post which started it all. Katie Maree, Facebook 2016.

Now, the mother isn’t trying to say her children are angels – she admits they weren’t behaving. But says the stranger and her remarks were ignorant and lacking empathy.

Almost 800 responses and counting, the post has now gone somewhat viral, being mentioned in numerous blogs (including this one) and even becoming a news story because of it’s relatable nature.

But many of us have one simple question: What do open letters achieve?

We live in a world where we want to post anything and everything on social media, but why?

It seems as though people are so inclined to sit down after a crappy day and tell the world about it (literally).

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People are taking to their computers to share their bad experiences. Carly Hagins, Flickr 2010

I’m usually pretty sceptical about open letters and I don’t know if online is the best place to be talking about such personal experiences but sometimes these open letters achieve great things.

Just four months ago, Canadian mother Jennifer Kiss-Engele wrote an open letter on Facebook saying her down syndrome son was excluded from a birthday party. The public’s incredible and unexpected reactions to her post resulted in her child being invited to the party while also spreading a message of love and acceptance.

I completely agree with Jennifer and Katie’s motives to defend their children. I’m extremely protective of my family, as I’m sure we all are.

If one tiny post is going to make a slight difference in the world, or even in the life of someone I love, then I would be willing to take that chance.

https://twitter.com/kderns/status/787487777164173312

And I’m not the only one.

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