Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Mean people...

No one has been mean to me, at least lately, so let me get that out of the way.

I am not going to link to any story, post, facebook comment or tweet from the world wide web. I do not want to bring attention to anyone or anything specific. This being said, I am finding it so very hard to understand how anyone can say anything to someone they don't know that is mean spirited and deliberately cruel.

What makes someone do this? Is is the anonymity of the Internet? I certainly don't know any adult person that would walk up to a complete stranger and say, "I overheard your conversation and I don't agree with you. In fact, I think you are stupid and dumb and you should die." I don't surround myself with people who may send me an email that states, "I read your post today and you are an idiot and your children are ugly." I would never stop to talk to a grieving person and say, "well he certainly deserved it. Look at the way he lived his life and you should just get over it."

Today, I have come across three separate, completely unrelated posts and news articles in which commenters directly and verbally assault the writer.  Then there are the comments, mostly anonymous, that lambaste either the writer or the subject of the post or article with unbelievable hatred. It saddens me. It makes me wonder what started all of this? We are clearly no longer a civilized people who want the best for our neighbors.

Do we look at the nonsense happening in Washington and wonder how in the world we got here?  Do we look at the horrific tragedy of Oslo, Norway and wonder how someone becomes that way? When and why did some of us become such awful people?

My main goals for my children are for them to be nice to everyone, to be grateful for everything they have and to be individuals. (I also spend a lot of time telling them to settle down and stop jumping up and down on the floor so we don't make our downstairs neighbor crazier than he already is!) At what point do people change from having basic human compassion to attacking, abusing and hurting their fellow man.

I know people have fought wars since the beginning of time because of hatred and misguided beliefs on either side. This is different. It is the "mean girl" effect manifesting itself in written verbal vitriol. It infuriates me, saddens me and makes me want to hug my children and wish that we lived in a time when people were simply nice.

Don't get me wrong, I am not perfect. Today, I even thought about some things I have said behind other people's back to my husband, or even friends. Now granted, these people I may have been talking about are ridiculous, but these thoughts need to stay in my head. I am a notorious gossip who tends to stick my nose in other people's business. I started trying to change this personality trait when I lost a dear friend a few years ago. Not because of gossip but because she didn't want my help nor my opinion. It is time for me to continue to keep my mouth shut no matter what the truth of the situation. I will not be part of this being mean movement. At least I will try.


ALSO: There is this crazy thing that started a few years ago, that I just recently realized. There is now only 1 space after a period. It is documented and everything. Hardest habit I have had to break and am I am not doing a very good job of it. Please be patient with my many mistakes in this area. And let's be honest with all things grammar and spelling. :)


Anonymous said...

I love this and couldn't agree with you more. It does amaze me how people can be so hurtful and
just mean to people they don't know or people who are different or
have a different opinion. Crazy world we live in. One has to commit to living above it all and just get on with it!

JenD said...

I totally agree! Phil bronstein wrote a whole piece on it this week in the sf chronicle. Total lack of compassion out there sometimes and makes me think there must be a lot of unhappy people, ie those that write such things. Good post R! JD

Anonymous said...

Mean people. I need to think about this. Since, my personality type is more in my head than guts, I probably don't recognize when people are mean. I think the best thing to do is simply stay away from people who are in vocally insensitive. I occasionally say things in jest. Do I really mean it. Here's an example. My friend Andy brought his son, John, to breakfast. Now, John isn't just as my brother Raz says, shy of a bale of cotton. He is a bale of cotton. Now, the point: is it necessary for me to say that. No. Is it mean? Not mean, I don't think but insensitive. no need to say it. What about for fun. So...