Cyber bullying people into death has become an acceptable way of being for hate mongers who troll pages of suicided teens who felt they had no way out, no one in the world left to talk to despite the great connectivity electronically which I refer to as “the greatest divide.”
Road rage and huffing puffing folks in line ups are rapidly rising while bucket list brags are proliferating so it is as though anyone who does not travel anywhere exotic or does not own anything worth kajillions is also worth nothing. Is it any wonder people are becoming so irritable? What could we possibly do to discount human existence more than what we are already doing?
Only yesterday, I asked amid a group of women I was gathered with to learn more about managing my challenges in life, “Why are we always talking about kindness and paying it forward? I am so sick of these over-used terms. When I was a kid, kindness was the norm. No discussion required. If a neighbour needed something, you responded. If you needed something, a neighbour responded. We didn’t have to talk about kindness and keep reminding the world what it was.”
This led me to thinking about those darn Christmas Brag Letters and Bucket lists. Big shiny happy photos all over Facebook can often leave one feeling as though the very realities they must endure are wrong and they are therefore, wrong for having to endure/survive their real life challenges. Why are we allowing this? Where has all the love and support gone. Can we not find another term other than bucket list? Such as “my dream?” Not everyone has the same dreams.
For some, eating today will be a dream come true.
For others, a warm place to sleep tonight will be a dream realized.
For those fighting illness, physical or mental challenges, getting through another day is a gift.
For those who know they are leaving this world soon, another minute with a loved one is a gift.
Why does road rage and daily rudness not only exist but multiply daily in a world where we all KNOW better since the age of five. Okay, maybe not all of us know better. But once we know better, we can do better.
Or so one would hope.
Jails are bursting at the seams, the mental health facilities are closing daily and funding for human assistance is constantly being cut. Is it any wonder humans are losing their ability to be humane? If it’s okay for governments, funders, etc to deny those who most need help, then it must be okay for the rest of us to ignore the homeless woman who was chucked out of a mental facility and begs us for some change because she hasn’t the mental capacity to take care of herself and there is no longer a safe place for her to live because there is not money enough for housing in an assistance check let alone for a month’s groceries. If she knows enough to apply for assistance or is connected to an advocacy group that might help her do so.
Personally, I want us to reach a point in the world where we can ban cyber bullying and even school ground “guards.” Yes, they do have them, I nearly applied once but my then husband feared I would get physically hurt, and truth told, so was I but I wanted to try to teach kids how to make peace between themselves instead of joining the wave of angst ridden misdirected hatreds that seems so easy to ride. Until, because of it, someone has again died.
Even then, some find it necessary to spew their misdirected hatreds out as if this is an acceptable behavioral mode for any human being. Or toward any other human being. It is so not.
There is only one thing I know to do to achieve the world I long to know again.
Ghandi said it best: “Be the change you want to see.”
Therefore, you will never hear me say the words bucket list in reference to my own latest indulgence, nor will you ever hear me say pay it forward. Nor will I ever require mentioning the word kindness.
In my Christmas news, I once mentioned menopause and a cousin said, “only you would write about that in a Christmas news letter.” I took it as a compliment.
As I did when my mom told me I am eccentric. So glad I am. At least I am not a mean spirited, cyber-bullying, unkind, bucket list focused, pay it forward nasty type of eccentric. But that’s not eccentric anyway. That is just downright mean.
What this leads me to wondering is how did we get this way and how do those people feel inside?
Getting this way seems to be the result of what many dubbed the great WWW (world wide internet) where “being connected” was the marketing phrase. Oh sure. We are all so connected now. We go “lmao” on Facebook and don’t even phone anyone anymore. We accept seeing photos and remarks on Facebook as sufficient social interaction because we can no longer be bothered to drive ten minutes as we did two years ago to see them. We pick up calls on cell phones while already engaged in conversation with another human being. We cannot go anywhere without the cell phone attached.
Recently I was looking for a pay phone and guess what. Couldn’t find one. Gave up and drove home.
Recently because I fell asleep talking to someone on the cell phone, I thought I bundled it up in my bedding and washed it. At first I panicked.
Then I became calm, even grateful and laughed. So what. I can live without it for a while. Then, when I found it on the floor later, I was both relieved and saddened. Shit, I thought, I’m still tied to this thing.
Oh well. I know one thing for sure. I am going to be much more selective about what I do on this thing.
I will never have to discuss kindness because I am just going to be the change I want to see.
Wherever I see bullying, I will speak up, speak out and speak against it. I will not engage in further communication to escalate the exchange, merely say my peace and move on.
I may even do a Christmas newsletter on one of my blog sites this year and you can all rest assured it will have nothing of the years achievements, exotic destination locales or my latest material acquisitions.
Of course, this is partially due to the fact that I haven’t achieved a lot lately. Wait. Today may be the day…
But then I haven’t travelled outside Canada or the US either so it won’t have any travel journaling either. Wait. I do travel. All over the humanitarian globe and back. Almost daily. But I don’t need to tell you about that. It’s just what I think and try to contribute to.
It is a sad statement in my opinion, that society contributes to the million dollar industry of gossip and reality tv shows while missing out on their very own minutes. This reflection of social psychology gives me cause for great concern about where our values are going. Wait. Where we are LETTING them go.
I am neither letting go of my values nor being sold any by others. I just want everyone to remember what really matters in this world.
It’s easy to assume a lot about others we know nothing of or assume we know things we do not know.
Instead of concluding and assuming, let’s start asking one another questions. Let’s dig deeper, find out what one another is all about. Never mind electronic presence. Those are virtual billboards. Let’s find out what is behind the billboard.
Feel free to climb inside my mind on my pages anytime you want. Wait. I think you just did J
Thanks kindly for joining me today for a writing sprint of 30 minutes. I do this with eye drops and wearing sunglasses because of a nasty eye infection. But I couldn’t help joining in on the writing sprint a Facebook community I belong to just challenged us with. While I abhor the negating and devaluing I have witnessed and experienced personally online, I do appreciate and love those wonderful connections I have made. Ignoring anything negative is akin to enabling it to continue, very frustrating for one who is suffering at all. Aren’t we here to cheer one another on through our REAL life challenges? I don’t need help filling my bucket list, having fun or acquiring stuff. I do need validation that I am a human being experiencing REAL life challenges that don’t go away just because a blind or cruel eye is turned on them. So I do not throw the baby out with the bath water at all. Rather, I ask what are YOU all about? I don’t need to see your stuff, your travels, I don’t speak stuff.
Thomas Carlyle said, “Not what I have but what I do is my kingdom.” Who ARE you? How do you walk in the world?
I walk tall. I speak “soul.” Direct.
© JAM 2012Nov7