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Since when is it okay to be mean?

After reading a couple headlines the other day, it struck me that things are a little out of control lately.

I can think of three examples:

Pat Robertson thinks Peyton Manning should get injured.

Kim Kardashian had flour dumped on her.

The shooting range lady told Rick Santorum to picture the target as Obama.

I’m a mom. No news there. I raise my kids to be nice. There’s anti-bullying awareness every where we look. It’s in our media, our schools, our homes. But what about just being nice? Bullying seems to be a buzz-word for any type of harassing or behavior that gives someone control over another person.

According to Google, the definition of a bully is “A person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.”

and, ‘Corned beef’. I’m not kidding. Google it.

Let’s focus on the first part of this definition. Power , harm and intimidation are the words that stand out to me.

Even among equals, there is bullying. But I suppose more times than not, the bully has an upper-hand to the bullied.

But let’s not get caught up in semantics about bullying. Let’s just go back to my original statement on being kind. We have lost this general fabric of our being. A simple part of humanity. Smiling at someone. Holding your tongue when you want to say what’s on your mind. Waving someone by that has cut you off. Maybe this is tolerance more than kindness. I’m not saying bring your neighbor a basket of muffins. Just be nice.

Mother Theresa says, “there are three important things in life; to be kind, to be kind, to be kind.”

Wow. She didn’t say, go to church, or honor they parents, or don’t steal. She said- be kind.

I read the news and Pat Robertson is pissed at the Broncos for trading Tebow. Does Pat Robertson not pay attention much to the NFL in general? News flash- players get traded. Tebow isn’t the only Christian in the NFL. He doesn’t have a corner stone on God with his Tebow bow down touchdown celebration. He’s just a guy. A guy who likes Jesus. A guy who likes Jesus that plays football. That’s all. There is no shrine in his honor. He didn’t win a Super Bowl. He’s a man. Just like Peyton Manning. Maybe Peyton Manning likes Jesus too. Maybe he just doesn’t feel the need to drop a knee in the end zone. Maybe he kneels at his bedside and says his prayers at the end of the day. Who knows. It doesn’t matter. They are football players. And Jesus doesn’t care more for which team Tebow plays for or doesn’t play for. Okay Pat? We clear? Don’t go saying, out loud, that Manning will get hurt and he probably deserves it. It’s just not nice. It isn’t KIND. It’s mean. If my kid’s Sunday School teacher said, “I hope your kid gets hurt playing t-ball for that other church!”, that would be mean. Really mean.

Kim Kardashian got flour dumped on her on the red carpet. Okay, I don’t need to rush to KK’s defense. I’m not going to. And you don’t care about another celeb on the red carpet doing their thing getting a whopping $100,000 for showing up in spray tan and 6-inch heels. My first thought was, ‘haha, KK got floured. That’s kind of funny!! Silly girl, serves her right!’

Then I thought, wait (yes, I know, I’m having a conversation in my head), whoever threw that flour is kinda mean. I mean, who goes around with a sack of Gold Medal unbleached flour and waits to throw it on some unsuspecting celebrity? What lack of a life and huge bone to pick do you have if you take the time to do this? Mean, I say. Mean.

This brings me to Rick Santorum at a firing range. Nothing about this guy I like. But I won’t be mean. I’ll just be nice. Either way, it’s not really his fault what transpired.  Santorum was at a firing range during one of his campaign stops. When he goes to shoot, a woman is overheard and says, “pretend it’s Obama”. He publicly denounced her quote and her identity is unknown. Not a big deal, because she sounded like she probably smokes a few packs a day and has no teeth. I doubt she’s on any watch list. However, it is still M E A N. Obama is our President. If you joked about shooting him while in line with TSA, I’m sure security would pull you aside. Same goes for George W. You don’t joke about shooting the President. Ever. I don’t like to joke about shooting ANYBODY. Don’t we have enough gun violence as it is? Hmm, Gabby Giffords, Trayvor Martin, Chardon, OH; Bremerton, WA, Columbine…the list goes on…  It was a mean comment. Period. Geeze lady, shut your pie hole.

Where does this bring us? If half this country wants to bring this country back to whatever it was whenever it wants it to be. And the other half wants to just feed non GMO food and keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people, and keep women’s healthcare a choice left up to women, the first thing we have to do, ALL OF US- is be nice. Be Kind, be kind, and be kind. Not mean.

It’s not how I was raised.

Comments

  1. ghfool says:

    I believe that one of the great challenges of life is to make the right choices, the difficult choices that ultimately shape our character. We are born weak and selfish and therefore its takes much more strength to be kind than to be mean. Succumbing to temptation merely reveals the lack of growth in one’s humanity.

    ghfool

  2. Tara says:

    I love this. I am trying to instill this in my children, I can only hope I succeed!

  3. magsx2 says:

    Hi,
    There seems to be terrible headlines the world over, we can only hope the next generation can do a lot better with a much better attitude towards others.

  4. STabick says:

    Excellant words, as a Christian pastor, how sad and revolting to put out an opinion that Pat Robertson did….and as far as Santorum….the mentality of anyone who would suggest someone at all for a target….disgusting….I for one am so tired of getting the revolting and disgusting emails about whatever politician you don’t like….Ugh…..
    Lets just keep on keeping on….spreading our kindness, good words, …lets keep it up…it may catch on…..

  5. i sometimes wonder where the line is – for what i sometimes write anyway – between adding to the “mean” you speak of here so eloquently, and my need to vent my anger, and say something in such a way so as to call attention to it – make it register, and by doing so, am i adding to the “mean”? it is a conundrum for me. a very thought-provoking post F. continue…

    • I know Tony, I wonder too. Jon Stewart gets away with stuff. SNL does too. Maybe because I agree with your stuff I don’t think it’s mean. That’s a little narrow-minded of me, I know! Expression, prose and poetry aren’t the same as holding a press conference and directly insulting someone. But I’m sure someone would argue that too. Whatever, I hope you keep writing from your heart and your gut, no matter what.

  6. mj monaghan says:

    There is way too much ill will against both political parties. I don’t understand it. Not just not liking, but vile hatred. Liberals HATING conservatives, conservatives hating liberals. Don’t know if this will change at this point, but I sure hope so.

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