Let’s get something straight…
Sometimes I read posts (from different blogging communities – not from my hood) and I get uneasy, really uncomfortable. I’m not talking about my friend’s colorful posts that make me giggle with secret delight. No, I’m talking about people who make assumptions of others based on politics, religion, geography, age, ethnicity, sex, etc. I’m talking about people who get worked up into a mean frenzy, believing they know everything about a person based on their external affiliations and understanding of the world.
I feel prompted to say, “The map is not the territory.” People are nothing if not complex, but some of us are in the habit of lumping people together for convenience sake. We make assumptions which are, more often than not, lazy and totally off the mark, and then we feel like we’re allowed to spew all manner of crap. The world feels very divided lately and it makes me sick.
What we do is not necessarily who we are. Our behavior is usually just the top protective layer and can be explained and understood on closer examination. Lots of people choose not to put an effort into understanding another person’s motives because it’s just faster and easier to stereotype.
Here’s the thing, none of us fits in to a tidy little mold, right? None of us can be summed up by any one belief. We’re a product of the unique life that we’ve lived. If you neglect to consider the whole person, you’re missing out on all the good stuff.
Politics, religion, geography, age, ethnicity, sex, appearance, status, IQ, etc.
Believe it or not, you can mix and match any of the above things in unlikely ways and I can assure you, there is someone out there that will fit that description.
Love, kindness, patience, mercy, tolerance, understanding, goodness…
These are the qualities that, if you do a little digging, are just below the surface. Be aware, you won’t be able to tap into these core qualities if you’re busy believing that the other surface/external affiliations are some how more important. Don’t be fooled.
In closing, and I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but whatever, just humor me, let’s soften our hearts and be kind, open, loving and look for the qualities in each other that are below the surface, waiting to be felt and experienced, the real qualities that tie us together. Let’s give each other a really wide berth.
Of course if that doesn’t work feel free to start slinging mud. : )
** And no, this does not mean that you throw your sense of humor out the window! Life is not worth living if we can’t make fun of people! tee hee
“I’m not talking about my friend’s colorful posts that make me giggle with secret delight.” <- This gave me the pleasant impression you were referring to Le Clown…
I do agree with what you are conveying in your post. I do think provoking in a respectful way is still a great deal of fun… And "respectful" being the key word. I have always appreciated posts and comments which encourage conversation, discussion, even when they get heated. It's when one's opinion is shoved down someone's throat that I find things get lost…
Le Clown, where is your red hanky? Did you finish the raw bear meat?
You are colorful.
I have finished cutting the raw bear meat with my teeth, and buried some of it in the frozen Canadian soil outside my igloo for the winter…
I TOTALLY agree. I should have used the word respect, it’s a good one. I don’t like mean spirited stuff, like when the other person diminishes your value as a human being because you feel differently then they do. Shoving things down someone’s throat is obnoxious and probably a sign that this individual lacks the sort of intelligence needed for a thoughtful debate. We’re in agreement my colorful friend. *wink*
Paul Ryan is a dork.
PS: Winking back.
He has some dorky qualities, I’ll give you that.
Did Le “Paul Ryan” Clown just say respectful????
Of course. I respectfully said that Paul Ryan was a dork!
Maybe in Canada “Respect” means “Disrespect?”
That Le Clown, he’s a tricky one, eh?
sticky tricky awlright
Lisa, you know how I feel about this and I agree 100 percent. Nice to know I’m in your hood. People just need to be nice. Not mean. Not judgmental.
You rock. xxoo
Thanks, Brig. I’m glad you’re in my hood, too. I stumbled onto a really icky and mean post and I was like, what is going on here? Where am I? haha! Something told me I wasn’t in KANSAS anymore.
there is something about you two ladies using the word “hood” that is making me giggle
Yeah, Brig and I are so Ghetto.
laughing… yo homey you know it.
I almost want to ask for a specific example. I know I have not earned such a thing, but I am very curious to see who or at least what inspired this.
I stumbled onto a post that was a feminist rant that went to infinity and beyond. I get it. Things make people angry. People get hurt and they want to vent. Go for it. But when your rant becomes destructive and ugly and mean and lacks intelligence, it’s obvious you’re no better than the person(s) you’re ripping to shreds. That’s when I feel prompted to say something — just for my own sanity.
Can’t say I wouldn’t feel the same way if I read the horrible thing you had to. I’m sure she/he (if it’s a he I’m just embarrassed) will die alone anyway with such an atittude.
One more thing… It could have been ANY TOPIC. There’s a line, it’s way out there but it exists. When someone’s motives are to hurt/cripple another person through their words, you can be sure that I won’t sit by idle, for too long. I’ll speak up.
I’m glad Mooselicker asked the question because I was wondering what prompted this too, Grippy. Any sort of post that becomes an unceasing tirade is unpleasant, no matter how innocently it starts out. And then it just antagonizes people who might have otherwise been on your side.
Amen to that, Sista. That’s exactly what happened. I got sucked into a rant vortex from hell.
You remain the wind beneath my wings (without the dying at the beach part–that would be so ew).
I can’t sit still and say nothing, which, my children tell me, will lead to my being beat to a pulp one day. I’ve had words online and in life with those who are bullies and I doubt I’ll stop, even if I’m lying there in my own blood and teeth.
What a pleasant thought!
I’ve always got your back when you have “words.” You and I can’t just zip it. It’s not who we are. I think that’s a good thing. Having that personality, no doubt, fits into God’s plan for us. That’s the feeling I get.
Blood, teeth, dying… maybe you should go over to Lily’s blog! haha!
Oh, that video she had up!! It’s burned into my memory!!! ahaha!!!
I try and never raise my voice, I try and stay on topic and not be moved into side issues that have nothing to do with the point at hand. I do not understand blind, sweeping comments I read here and there–isn’t that the beginning of prejudice? Generalizations frighten me, and, with that generalization, I’ll stop talking.
Grippy, I are my most favorite person right now. I’m working on a post about voting, and I would like to link back here, if you don’t mind.
I have a real problem with absolutes, if you know what I mean. When someone says “Well of course it’s..blah blah blah.” Well, maybe not. I have some atheist friends, that happen to be some of the nicest people I know. The only thing they do that bothers me is a single question they ask..Every Time I’m Around Them..and that is “How can a Christian be a Republican?” Well, for being so open, respectful, loving and caring, that sure is a shallow question. So… all Republicans are scumbags, so I guess that means all Democrats are potheads.
Well, thank you for this wonderful post.
Thanks, Broseph Jon. I hate absolutes, too. It’s like if you don’t fit the mold then you don’t exist, or you’re worthless or an idiot, etc. It’s maddening and it’s so CLOSED minded. I’m fairly certain there’s a person or people who exist that would shatter everyone’s stereotype. It’s really quite toxic and dysfunctional to think that you can slot people into different categories without taking the whole person into consideration. Great comment – mostly because you love me. haha!
Rants and posts that spew hatred, intolerance and negativity regarding humanity need to stay in their own folders and not published. I have zero tolerance in trying to teach people about the basics of how to treat mankind. If you are old enough to read this, then you are old enough to know right from wrong..
Good point, Lynne. It’s exhausting to hear this stuff knowing that the person spewing is probably shut down to anything uplifting and intelligent. It’s just so destructive and not what we need improve the quality of our lives. It’s a real downer.
Thanks for this wonderful post. It seems like tolerance has gone out the window recently and if you don’t agree with someone’s point of view, then of course there must be something wrong with you!!
Like LeClown said, as long as their is respectful debate, there is nothing wrong with that. But when it gets down to name-calling, bullying, ugly comments….that is when they lose their arguement.
Great post and so timely in today’s society!!
Thanks so much. I reach a saturation point and then I have to say something – even though it feels so obvious. I’m all for debating with intelligence and respect. We need to process information in an open way that allows us to hear all sides and consider all feelings. When people go into lock-down mode I get so turned off. Intolerance, bullying, and intimidation are counter productive. That, “My way or the highway” stuff is so exhausting.
I’ve seen this kind of fear and stupidity. While I don’t agree with the stance, I get it. It’s a really accessible stance that doesn’t require the depth of thought you’d need otherwise to be more evolved. I could go on and on, but that would be a whole post in itself — no really, an entire book — haha! Thanks for your thoughts on this GL!
My reply fell down below the Waiting…Oy! I obviously don’t know what I’m doing. No computer skills what so evva!
Everyone will judge someone just like that sometimes, but by now I’ve come to realise that every action has a trigger, a reason. I do my best to keep that in mind, because often it can change a stupid action into something we can understand.
As often, you are very right.
All behavior is motivated by something. I often have to do a little self inventory to figure out what’s driving my own behavior. It’s easy to take things at face value and make assumptions.
It’s much healthier to dig a little deeper and explore where a person is coming from before we put ourselves in the judges seat. I would contend that what you see is often not what you get on the inside. People want to be loved and understood and validated. We all do. When you remember that, it becomes easier to connect with other people.
I’m only trying to figure things out.
As always, so with you on this one. I read stuff like the post you read and get so sad too. In fact, just the other day I was reading an article on CNN and the comments were so mean-spirited and judgmental that I had to just x-out of it. No one fits into a mold, and the very things that make us unique shouldn’t be held against us.
Exactly. Why can’t we all respect each other’s unique take on things? It feels so basic and obvious, stuff we learned as children, and yet some how we lose our way? I could run down a list of things I align myself with, some loosely – some not, and still those things would not define me or give anyone a total picture of who I am. I feel like we each have our own personal philosophy that works for us and makes sense to us. I think we should always be tweaking it and adding new understanding to it. We’re all just a work in progress, right?
Thanks, Sandee! I agree, it’s exhausting. I believe that at the very heart of the abusive, destructive, offensive behavior, is FEAR. You’re right about that. It’s amazing how fear works as a motivator. There always seems to be a negative outcome when we’re motivated by fear.
I agree, staying angry and close minded is the easy choice. Taking time to learn facts, staying open to new ideas and processing information in a thoughtful way requires a degree of intelligence.
What you say about staying open to new ideas, etc. is hard sometimes when you have the immediate issues of your own existence, but in the long run I think it makes your life easier — the burden of self-righteous anger is lifted.
Staying open to new ideas is difficult, no doubt about it, especially if it feels safe, familiar and comfortable in your old position. There’s always going to be challenges and opportunities for us to re-think and consider new ideas. I think this is where the fear comes in.
As intelligent, evolving people we need to push ourselves out of our comfort zones sometimes, and challenge ourselves to a greater understanding. It’s difficult when you have affiliated yourself or defined yourself as being with a group of people. The real test of character is going it alone, sticking your neck out and feeling your way to a new truth – all the while risking ridicule, disapproval, anger, etc.
There’s no place on the journey for self-righteous anger. It keeps you stuck and probably keeps you frightened.
I will admit that I rant. I try not to make personal attacks in my rants and to be fair, but a rant is passing judgement, by it’s nature. I struggle with how far to take things in my blog. I try to only indulge my propensity for sweeping statements that I will later regret only in the safety of my own home with my husband. Not always successful, but worth the effort.
I hear you. I have strong feelings about a lot of things, too. I feel like if I expressed myself in a full fledged rant, I might feel better, but I’d lose 99% of my peeps. I’d rather try and reach an understanding by soft pedaling my opinions. I don’t want people to shut down, and I’m sure they would.
Humor goes a long way in making things palatable. I try to be funny but often I fall flat. I’m hit or miss. I cringe when people don’t realize I’m being sarcastic and dry. Then I feel stupid if I have to go back and calm everyone down. The bottom line — it’s easy to be misunderstood in the blogosphere. I think we take a huge leap of faith, every time we write a post. It’s a risk.
If I were a great writer or a natural comedian I’m sure I’d be more confident and casual in my blogging. I’m neither of those so I’m mindful of what I write, knowing that one unfortunate phrase or carelessly misplaced word and I could end up being the Joe Biden of WordPress. hahaha!
Haha back. How many feet DOES Joe Biden have in his mouth at this point?
I agree. People are dumb. I hate when people care so much about one thing that they have to rant or get angry about it. Like, why do you care that much? I don’t know, maybe I don’t take things that seriously, but like if something upsets me, like those Todd Akin comments, I’ll say it. But I won’t spend time thinking about it and blogging about it and bringing it up all the time. Like, WHO CARES?
When somebody says something dumb, which happens all the time, you can look at that person and define him or her by that one comment or you can wonder who they really are. Now if it happens ALL THE TIME… and a pattern starts to emerge, you can take an educated guess that they’re pretty ignorant. But even then, I would contend that you can be ignorant and still be a decent person deep inside.
Maya Angelou said, “When You Know Better, You Do Better.” Once these people get called out, have that teachable moment, they usually turn their lives around.
I just don’t want to be a hater.
I just like hating haters.
Sign me us up…the whole famn damily…you know we are with you 100%.
Judgmental people SUCK.
thumbs up on Weebles and thumbs up on this entire blog post/comments. Grippy is sizzling this week
Thanks for the sizzling comment, Audra. I needed that.
you are always…. I do so love your thoughts
You can say that again. They’re the suckiest of the suck.
That post must have really pissed you off. I once got beat up for agreeing with someone incorrectly once. i have vowed not to say anything on “rant” posts ever again. Don’t want it, don’t need it, won’t read it.
Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil. I think that’s a good way to approach all rant posts. Anyway, who would beat you up, the nicest Canadian I know, for agreeing incorrectly? Whoever it was, was a total imbecile and is, from this day forward, banned from my blog. (You’ll just have to point them out if they darken my doorstep.)
People who generalize are stupid. (Get it? I just generalized.) BTdubs I agree with you.
I figured you’d agree. Even Eebs is smart enough to know I speak the truth.
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LOL! I like hating haters too! I’ll go along happy as can be and then somebody will say something that really makes me mad and I’ll rant and rave first chance I get, but I never stay mad very long. My attention span is much too short. I could never sue anybody for instance, because no matter how mad I get, I get over it right away even though I still will hold a grudge forever. It’s a weird combo platter of anger! 😀
Hahah! A combo platter of anger! That’s probably what I have. I think that sounds very clinical and should be an actual diagnosis.
I usually stay in our own little neighborhood of bloggers, so don’t you know, the one time I go poking around, I find a real doozy of a rant. It was just mean and idiotic. Why does everyone get so crazy?
I think when we were growing up our country seemed so much more unified. I guess because our media consisted of people like Walter Cronkite. You would never know what his beliefs were because he stayed neutral and very professional. Nowadays you can’t find a neutral news channel. Maybe that has something to do with it? Anyway, I hate the haters, too, and all the divisiveness.
I feel like I have to apologize for this post – it’s sort of heavy, huh? : /
Smart ass that I am, I was about to start a hateful tirade about you whining on a Film Review Friday post instead of sticking to Whiny Wednesday but I was fearful that someone might think that I was serious.
One reason that I enjoy following your blog – and Le Clown and Madame Weebles and others – is that the discourse, even when vulgar, is civil, if that makes sense.
When I come across the hate-filled, tirade-laden sessions, I am at first amused and then bored by then inevitable back-and-forth, to wit:
A: I’m right and you’re wrong.
B: No, you’re wrong and an asshole.
A: Well, I’m right and you’re a bigger asshole.
…and so on, ad naseum.
That’s exactly how I feel. It doesn’t take much for those types of arguments to become unintelligible. I’m sure that you’ll agree that when we were growing up the country seemed much more unified. Now our country feels like the Hatfield’s and McCoys. The divisive rhetoric has reached epic proportion. It’s almost laughable, that is, it would be laughable, if our country wasn’t up shit creek without a paddle.
CaL, I enjoy your smart assery (that’s now an official word). In fact, I look forward to it. It’s your gift. The truth is, Whiny Wednesday is slowly seeping into the other days of the week. So much for my writing schedule.
I’ve got you in my grip, Grippy. Pretty soon it will be Satanic Sundays, Moody Mondays, Terrible Tuesdays …