I realize I totally ripped off both Dennis Miller and Peter Griffin but I'm sure they won't mind.
I'm cheesed about something I see happening more and more, thanks to Social Networking, etc. So allow me to pull up my soapbox, grab my megaphone and hop up as I share this alarming new trend:
Cyber Bullying. Actually all forms of Bullying.
If you do it, you're an idiot. More than that, you're just a downright douche. I don't care what you think your "reason" is. Actually, there is no reason. Refer back to reference point Number One. (Example: You're an idiot.) But more than that? You're sad. A bitter, miserable person who can't or won't pull themselves out the mire of bullshit they've consciously made of their lives so they have a mission to bring as many people down to their level in order to feel "better than."
Now, some clever ones will say they aren't bullying. That they're "just being honest" and it isn't their fault you can't take the criticism. I call bullshit on that as well. Huge diff between being honest and being cruel. Honesty is about truth, yes, but a truth that can be delivered with compassion. (For those of you confused by the word "compassion", please refer to Merriam-Webster's.) Cruelty, on the other hand is about begin a self serving ego maniac, who actually feels pretty shitty about themselves on the inside but can't face that fact so they tend to externalize it in dysfunctional ways.
It's great and pleasing to be honest. I'm a big fan of honesty. But the tone and manner you use to speak your mind determines whether you inform people or you simply hurt them. And if you're just out to stick pins into the little voodoo dolls of your misery by extension towards others, then you, my friend, need a new hobby.
I remember a time when a bully was someone who threatened to kick your ass if you didn't hand over your milk or lunch money. Not someone who hopped online and with waaaaayyyyy too much time on their hands (refer back to "Needing a New Hobby" in the previous paragraph.) took aim, through Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo, Messenger, Google, etc to unleash their scathing rhetoric on the heads of people they just don't like. Like a bloated pigeon, they shit all over the nice, shiny, happies of people because what they really dislike is themselves. They just don't know. Or if they know it, they don't want to believe it.
Hear tell that bullies are often people who are bullied themselves. Madness begats madness, tit for tat, an eye for an eye and blah, blah, blah. I get it, I do. Sometimes the shadow wins. Sometimes we become the thing we hate most...but see...here is why I have a problem with that theory in certain scenarios....
Bullying, in and of itself, is a voluntary act, committed with full knowledge of how its going to be perceived. I'm sorry if Daddy didn't pay enough attention to you growing up. Or that Mommy looks with more favor on your older/younger siblings. Or that you got picked last for Dodgeball or Red Rover or whatever games it was. I'm sorry that no matter how hard you think you tried, it was never good enough. Thing is...the only person you need to be in competition with is yourself. The grass may LOOK greener on the other side of So and So's yard but the truth could be So and So simply astro-turfed their lives so it appeared shiny and perfect. We need to stop comparing OUR shadows to other's sunlit sides. Life is just a big fucking illusion. It's what we CHOOSE to make it. So if you want to keep dragging ass through Mordor, ring up Gollum as your guide and go for it. But don't keep making others pay for your insecurities.
I was a drug addict for SO long (technically, I guess I still am as I believe that just as with cancer, so too, can addiction, be in "remission" so to speak) and attended countless Narcotics Anonymous meetings. One thing that always struck home with me was something I'd read from our books. "Take care to mind your own side of the street, not your neighbors." Simple enough and yet horribly hard to keep in mind on a good day, I know.
Now, these Bullies may have friends who think they're the best godsdamned thing since chocolate (I feel constrained, again, to note that in my opinion there is NOTHING better than chocolate, just tossing that out.) and hence Bully Lemmings are born. A good bully, so I've learned through my own issues with them, is so artfully good at manipulating others that they can sit back and let their lil flying monkeys loose to do their bidding while acting the part of innocent ingenue. This way, they can pat themselves on the back with a job well done as they didn't get their hands dirty. So...not only a bully but a coward as well. TAKE NOTE BULLY LEMMINGS: IF THEY ARE GOSSIPING TO YOU THEY ARE ALSO GOSSIPING ABOUT YOU TO OTHERS, FYI. Your time will come, trust me. You'll say or do something or disagree with the general consensus or maybe you want to unplug from that Matrix....then you'll see how fleeting and fast your tenure was.
Good people do NOT wish ill for or on others. Ever. So instead of blindly following, perhaps you should sit back and mull that over a bit. Let it simmer.
Look, I don't want to be all preachy. Fact is, I was bullied a bit growing up. Short, freckled, fat and I hit puberty far earlier than any of my other girlfriends did. I had braces, big ol' boobs and frizzed out hair that looked like a Brillo Pad of Epic Proportions. Mexican American in a school of predominantly white, rich as hell, gorgeous kids. I wasn't quiet, I wasn't sedate and I sure as hell wasn't anything like anyone around me. Didn't fit into that niche and got hassled a LOT. Had my ass handed to me a couple times because I didn't fight back. Even knocked a few people on their asses when I did learn how but it wasn't by my hands...rather my wit. Now, I could have run with that ball all the way to Nationals but at some point, I grew up. Hurting people, even if they hurt me...didn't make ME feel good. It made me feel like pureed shit.
So I changed. I decided to NOT be like those who treated me that way. See that? I decided. Me. I made a choice to not be a dick. It's that easy...it really is.
Now, I'm not saying you have to like everyone....or help them. But you really need to stop hurting them. WE need to stop hurting each other in these seemingly small but soul destroying ways. There is so much else going on out there in the world: rape, disease, murder, war, crimes against animals and children. There's enough hate in this world to last ten lifetimes. Hell and Life Forms from other planets aren't as eager to conquer as the movies would have us believe. Even the Aliens think we're nothing a bunch of jerks, I'm pretty sure.
People are going to hate you for one of three reasons. They want to be you. They hate themselves. They see you as a threat. Remember that. Remember that you clever people and try not to let callous words and actions eat you up.
I can't fix the world. I can only fix myself. But in fixing myself, I can hope that my life and example can touch another. We need that. We need to pay it forward. We need to fine tune goodness, eradicate rage, solidify strength, ripen our resolve and elevate our empathy.
I'm the least religious person I know, but I did read the bible. God said he'd never again send a flood to wipe out humanity.
At this rate, He won't need to. Cos we're doing a bang up job ourselves.
Now, to all the Bullies out there, in whatever form: Let Life and Experience make you Better, not Bitter. Remove head from ass and you'll discover a few things. One, the air smells soooo much better and two, you can make a decision to find something far more worthwhile to put that energy into. Bullying doesn't make you cool or awesome. Being nice to someone you might not like doesn't make you fake either. It makes you a decent, mature human being.
Try that one on. We have something in your size, I'm sure.
Love on, World. Love on.