A sexist Twitter troll attacked Sarah Silverman and she changed his life

Comedian Sarah Silverman is known for her edgy and often fairly explicit sense of humor, often broaching controversial issues related to racism, sexism, politics and religion in her typical deadpan fashion. But a recent Twitter interaction showed the softer side to the performer, who turned what could have been a frustrating conversation into a productive one.

While the internet, and Twitter especially, has given us plenty of productive ways to communicate across vast distances, it's often used for some pretty moronic and toxic purposes. With the ability to send something the way of a celebrity without having to face any consequences (and often hiding behind their anonymity), users get away with saying the most stupid and offensive things.

Sometimes this comes out in the vein of a political rant of some kind, or an elaborate and specific personal attack. Other times, however, there is little thought put into the words beyond blind rage and frustration. One such encounter came with Sarah Silverman, when a random person sent her the message "c*nt" as a reply to an unrelated tweet.

When someone shows you such little respect and clearly not much thought, it's easy to ignore it, or even reply with an insult of your own. But Silverman chose another way. Instead of putting him down or arguing with him, she decided to reach out with compassion. In her response, she wrote:

"I believe in you. I read ur timeline & I see what ur doing & your rage is thinly veiled pain. But u know that. I know this feeling. Ps My back Fucking sux too. see what happens when u choose love. I see it in you."

To everyone's surprise, this user's tone changed dramatically after she reached out, and he started to explain what was going wrong in his life. He opened up in a way no one expected:

"I can't choose love. A man that resembles Kevin spacey took that away when I was 8. I can't find peace if I could find that guy who ripped my body who stripped my innocence I'd kill him. He fucked me up and I'm poor so its hard to get help."

Making reference to a traumatic incident that occurred when he was a child, he went deep into his own personal issues with complete honesty - something that I imagine even Silverman wasn't expecting. In her reply, she said, "I can't imagine your rage", before telling him that "You deserve support" and should attend a support group. That's when he promised he would go, but didn't show much optimism for the future. He then told her that "I'm sorry I gave u shit".

After receiving his apology she told him that she saw something in him and that "we don’t get what we want, we get what we think we deserve. I’m telling you, you deserve so much more than you know".

He still didn't believe her, but she didn't give up and told him:

"All you wrote was “c*nt” but I saw it and clicked on u and saw you were just trying to get kicked off Twitter. I saw the rage and pain. And looked at your avatar and just... saw so much in you. In your eyes I guess. Dunno"

Eventually, she asked her followers to recommend a spinal specialist for him based in the San Antonio area. Following that, the word got out and a healthcare group responded with the news that they had contacted him that day.

It just goes to show that even those who spread hate can still be reached, with their own pain often driving their actions. Hopefully, we can all have the patience to choose empathy like Silverman did.