Letter about Henkel’s article

This letter was received by Mr. Rogers via email from an Elder alum who was interested in the social media outburst following Co-editor Chris Henkel’s recent article about FOX 19s HSHysteria. The author wanted to publish his reactions but wanted to remain anonymous.

I heard a lot about Henkel’s article before I even read it. People were very upset about it, and I was interested on getting my hands on the article. After a few days, I was finally able to read the infamous article. I read it once, twice, a few times. Some parts were awkward and I had to read it a few times to fully understand Henkel’s points. This is beside the point because I am more interested in the actual opinion, not the grammar.

I do not agree or disagree with anything Henkel wrote; I think that everyone is entitled to their own opinion and nobody’s is greater than another person’s. Furthermore, I was not offended at all like the rest of my colleagues seem to be. Yes, he did call out Elder Alumni. Yes, he did call out Elder students. But why does it matter? No matter who you are, where you are, or what you’re doing somebody is always going to find ways to critique you. There are ways to critique Henkel’s writing. Hopefully, he doesn’t take offense to that because it’s constructive criticism. I know Henkel from last year, and I think he is a talented writer. Obviously, after stirring up this big of a controversy, something effective was written.

​The fact that Henkel challenged society and had the balls to call out a lot of people, even people he is going to be graduating with shortly, impresses me. It shows me that he’s not afraid to voice his opinion, and it shows me that you have full confidence in his writing. I applaud both of you for that. No matter what anyone writes or what anyone produces, there are always going to be people trying to criticize what you’ve done. There could be a few reasons for this, but I have a philosophy of my own on this subject.

I believe that people criticize others because they aren’t confident in themselves. They are jealous that they didn’t do what another person did. Some people criticize others just to make their own work look better, or to boost their self esteem. I find this to be very immature and extremely shallow.

Furthermore, people are afraid of change. I think the students of Elder High School deep down know that it’s a problem that there are Juniors, Seniors, even Sophomores showing up to sporting events hammered drunk. I would be hypocritical if I said I didn’t do the same. However, some students will only go to sporting events if it means they can get drunk as a skunk and high as a fly before every game.

Some students I’m sure realize this, some students don’t. However, that is beside the point. The point is that Henkel identified a problem that he saw in society, so he voiced his opinion about it. Personally, I don’t see a problem with this. “He just pushed it too far,” some people have told me. So what?! If people don’t see the problem after repeated criticisms, how else are we supposed to get through to people? Pushing the limits of society is what writing is all about! I love writing, I love art. I love to find ways to challenge society and put out something new.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it until my voice box runs dry: PEOPLE ARE AFRAID OF CHANGE. This applies to almost any field if you think about it. However, there is fine print under these words. People love change if it benefits them. However, if the change involves any sort of criticism or it doesn’t have a benefit in any way, people tend to shy away from it. Humans are selfish, it’s the way we are wired. It’s those that can overcome the selfishness and try to make a positive impact on society that will achieve greatness.

​In my opinion, Henkel’s article was great. It stirred up a lot of controversy, like a solid, effective opinion article should. A piece of art should challenge society as well, and to this I can strongly relate to. Right now, I’m designing a pizza cutter. I’m not going to buy a pizza cutter and replicate that. I’m going to try to improve the pizza cutter and make it better. I’m going to create a NEW product, because that is what product design is all about. A new product could be effective or ineffective. This is the process of creating a great design. Even if it takes 100 tries to finalize a great pizza cutter, as long as it’s effective, I’m going to make some cash. It may challenge society and be the wonkiest looking pizza cutter in the history of pizza pie but it works. It’s effective. Hopefully, Henkel and yourself can apply this to your own lives.

​I want to thank Henkel for voicing his opinion and I applaud him for his opinion article. I find Henkel’s article very, very successful because of all the controversy he’s stirred up. Remember Henkel, it’s not about the number of supporters you have, it’s about the quality of the supporters you have. If you have 1 million soldiers that are afraid to fight, they’re going to lose to 100 soldiers that will fight until the death. Quality is greater than quantity, and this can be applied to many things in life.

Henkel achieved what I never could: he identified a problem, and he voiced his opinion with BALLS OF STEEL. I personally think this is outstanding.

​Lastly, I want to remind Henkel to take other people’s opinions with a grain of salt. Remember, your opinion isn’t better than anyone else’s, and vice versa. I see a lot of maturity in Henkel’s writing as well. To wrap it up, I want to tell Henkel that he has more supporters than he thinks he does. Everyone that yells at Henkel (via social media or not) is actually supporting his argument and making the problem more evident than ever. I’ve seen multiple, extremely unintelligent responses to Henkel completely bashing on his article. This supports Henkel’s argument. Furthermore, the immature social media posts are also supporting Henkel. Henkel bashed on how people hide behind a computer screen and use social media as a way to talk trash to others. Pathetic is really what it is. Social media isn’t to blame for this, though. It’s a user error. People use it for the wrong reasons, but people will use anything incorrectly if you give them the chance. Keep writing Henkel, and don’t be discouraged, be inspired. I, myself, was inspired by your article and I’m sure others were as well.