This is what Cancel Culture looks like:

You go find someone elderly, like your grandma or grandpa, and you cast negative judgment on them for something they did as a teenager.

Does that sound like it makes a lot of sense to you?

It certainly doesn't to me.

Cancel Culture is the product of the throng of the righteous casting shame and hate towards peoples' past versions of themselves.

It's when people dig up every piece of dirt, brush away every single cobweb, and peer into every nook and cranny of your history.

Then, they find one little thing wrong with it and light you on fire for it.

The people who subscribe to this ideology seem to forget one thing:

Human beings are constantly changing and (hopefully) upgrading.

Patch X, where X is your current age

Think of your life in terms of patches.

In this context, a patch is a set of changes to a computer program or its supporting data designed to update, fix, or improve it.

I know the term from all the years I spent as a gamer, where patches were implemented to improve the game, fix bugs, and introduce new content.

Under the right lens, patches don't just apply to things like video games and software – they can also be used as a way of looking at your own life.

When you're born, you're at Patch 0.0. You spend a year growing, learning, and developing. One year after your birth, you are "updated" to Patch 1.0. Another year of growth and development after that takes you to Patch 2.0, and so forth.

These patches don't just get released and implemented in whole numbers, however.

Maybe during your 16th Patch you go through a breakup and are forced to grow from it, bringing you to Patch 16.1.0.

After your breakup, you get the hottest girl in the school to go to prom with you, which takes you to Patch 16.2.0.

And then there are even smaller updates.

Maybe that you got over that argument you had with your friend the other day, which takes you to Patch 16.2.1.

You bake some cookies for your neighbors and your reputation in the neighborhood goes up, taking you to Patch 16.2.2.

Photo via Midjourney

Who's a cool cat now?

The point is, you're constantly going through patches and hotfixes over the course of your life, so it only makes sense that who you were 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, or 10+ years ago isn't who you are today.

However, those who park themselves in stagnation and comfort zones might find the case to be otherwise, and I would not encourage a lack of growth for such a long period of time.

That's why I said "Human beings are constantly changing and (hopefully) upgrading."

The patches move forward with time.

Are you doing the same?

Looking backward fucks with your neck

That's a quote from Gary Vaynerchuk, and while he used it to discourage oneself from living in the past, I'm using it to discourage others from living in others' pasts.

Honestly, who has the time and energy to hate someone so much that they're willing to dig through all of their past to find out one angle they can attack them from?

Talk about living rent-free in someone's head.

If you're ever tempted to do the same to someone else and go digging, let me save you some time.

Nobody is perfect, and we've all made mistakes and have done things that we regret.

I'm obviously no exception to this. I've said some horrible things to people before.

Sometimes I have a temper and it shows in the things I've said.

However, the things that people say in the past don't always reflect what they say, what they believe in, or who they are today.

Nobody's past is spotless, and the people who try to "cancel" someone over what they've said or done in the past don't have a perfect past themselves.

So instead of pointing fingers at others, how about we all focus on improving ourselves instead?

You might think canceling someone and silencing them is going to make the world a better place, taking comfort in the fact that the sinner won't have a voice anymore.

Do you know what would actually make the world better?

If instead of devoting time, energy, and resources towards finding out what's wrong with other people, we used those resources towards improving ourselves.

That produces better results with better intentions.