Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mean People

I just want to speak a little about the mean people in the world. From where I sit it seems that the world is becoming an increasingly mean place. I'm not sure why this is, if it because of the media, technology, the "advancement" of our race, the increasing population pressure or what. All I know is that now, if you're not mean, you're a bit of an outsider. You're looked upon as either self righteous, a prude or a throwback. Meanness is now laughed at by other mean people and it is now not only tolerated, but almost expected (or respected.)

If you don't get what you want, be mean.
If you don't agree with someone, be mean.
If someone isn't like you to your liking, be mean.

This goes for politics especially. You know who you are. Democrats and Republicans alike. You're both mean and neither of you has all the right answers, contrary to your belief. Stop shouting at each other. Stop name calling, pigeonholing, generalizing, stereotyping, bashing, and grandstanding. You're not that great. Obama's not the answer, much like Bush wasn't the answer. Let's support the people that were elected in a fair election and move on. If you don't like who's in office, well, keep voting and deal with it.

I am sick of liberals and sick of conservatives. How about we all try being citizens again? Citizens implies a kind of civility, where when I think of the L and C words, all I get is fired up; over both for that matter. They both should be ashamed of what they've become. Can't we build each other up instead of tearing down? Or do we need to be mean because we think someone's going to step on us and take something we think we should get?

Facebook has been absolutely flaming with political vomit these past few weeks because of what's been happening in Madison. Friends are screaming at each other (i.e. being mean). Christian friends of mine have said things to people that mortify me. (Only to be responded to in an equally distasteful manner. What do you expect?) I've tried to stay away from it all because it's such a hot topic and I figure there's enough being spewed without contributing more. What is it about that FB medium that makes people say things they wouldn't shout out their front door? That's what they're doing, only worse. Facebook makes it forever. It's in print and for all the world to see. People would do good to think about that before saying the first thing on their (mean) mind.

I see meanness in the grocery store lines. I see it in sports coaches at every level, including middle school. I see it in TV shows especially. (Everyone should shoot their television right now. Of course that would be mean too.) I think TV is at the foundation of much of the country's anger (and hence meanness) because something as stupid as a sitcom may make meanness seem funny, or hip or cool when it's really not. It's just mean, and it sucks.

It's funny, but this whole journey with my brother's battle with cancer has changed my life and outlook in ways I'd never imagined. I see the meanness in people and I wonder why are they this way. Who spat in their oatmeal? Life is short. We can use it for good or evil. What do you want to be remembered for? As the guy who was always griping and complaining or someone who kept to themselves and tried to see the positive in everything? What are you going to be known for? Ask yourself. Seriously. Is the complaint you're waging today on,

the state of the economy
the wait at the drive through line
the weather
the Republicans or Democrats
the Fox or MSNBC commentator (who are mean people in their own right)
your neighbor
your co-worker
your family

really worth all the anger it's festering in your soul? Is it? If so, then you need to get yourself a heavy bag and hang it in the basement and whack away. That's a whole lot more constructive than spewing hatred toward any of the above. What does that accomplish other than to make someone else as miserable as you? Great, now there's two unhappy people in your circle. Great, pass it on and before long everyone will hate everyone and evil will reign. What a great legacy you've created. Thanks for doing your part in making the world a meaner place. Lord knows we all need that. I haven't been shouted at in at least a week, so am looking forward to the next mean person in my life.

Sorry about the rant there. My point, in case you haven't figured it out yet is be nice. Put it on your calendar to be a nicer person tomorrow. Then copy and paste it to the whole week, the whole month. Make it a point to wait your turn. Say thank you. Tip the person who cleans your hotel room. Open a door for someone. Resist the temptation to beat down a political adversary. Listen to them instead and hope your caring resonates more than your shouting would have.

Love people for crying out loud. Is that too much to ask? No one ever went to their grave going "I wish I'd been a meaner person."

It's really quite simple. Put people before yourself. Love one another. Be a blessing. The world deserves more people like you.

Blogging off...

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