At least four times over the past four months, I’ve listened to the TED Talk given by Monica Lewinsky. It’s a talk that brought a huge standing ovation. It’s the kind of talk that could change people’s lives forever. Her bravery is beyond description.
More than that, it has some very specific messages for those of us in this battle against the public shaming, humiliation and bullying that happens in Homeowners Associations across the country. It isn’t just the Internet that’s brought on public shaming. In my personal experience, there once was a time when neighbors actually talked to each other, brought each other dinners and birthday cakes, shared holidays together. If a neighbor to neighbor dispute arose it was most often settled quietly over the backyard fence.
I became so passionate about the homeowners’ rights movement after my family and I went through the most horrific public HOA shaming imaginable. Although I’ve finally sold my house in that neighborhood, even the thought of what a number of these ‘neighbors’ did still nauseates me.
It’s only when I started looking around this country that I discovered others were going through even worse pain and torment than what I had experienced.
I have to keep going back to a document I treasure: The U.S. Constitution. With a few exceptions, each line was written to preserve the rights of every citizen. It was written to prevent bullying and shaming. But in the past fifty or sixty years, we’ve written or adjudicated away so many of those protections that we may yet see a day when that Great Document is no longer relevant.
Please, please take the time to watch Monica Lewinsky’s TED talk. Then apply it to your own life. And keep up the battle against HOA bullies.