I wonder, do some people sit around whiling away the hours trying to create phrases that will cause the ultimate pain to others? Does it bring them joy to see others hurt? Words can hurt. They can cause damage to a psyche that might not be reparable. I believe we all utter words thoughtlessly occasionally. After a conversation, we think back and realize that something we have said might be taken in a way that would be hurtful or insulting. These unintentional slights shouldn’t be taken personally and should be forgiven with little fanfare. It is not these small social faux pas which I am referencing. I am referring to the intentional vindictive comments thoughtfully and specifically designed to cause the most pain. I’ve had what feels like more than my fair share of these insensitive and downright mean comments tossed in my direction at different periods of my life and being the extremely sensitive person that I am I’ve taken most of them to heart. I can’t help but wonder why others failed to learn at some point in childhood the all-important lesson to treat others the way that you want to be treated.
The problem is a widespread one. As a society, it’s deemed somewhat acceptable to insult others. I read a silly celebrity news article recently about a celebrity couple. The famous actor husband had cheated on the famous actress wife with a woman half her age but, the article stated, the couple was completely committed to saving their marriage. A nice sentiment and something you don’t see often in Hollywood but, as I perused the comment section this question came to my mind, as more than once readers had commented that the actress was “ugly with a horse face” so who could blame Mr. Famous Actor for cheating on her anyway. Why is this ever an acceptable comment to make? Just because the woman acts, why is it okay to insult the way that she looks? Why is it okay for the media to call a woman fat simply because she is shaped like a woman and not a preteen? They don’t call actors fat when they put on a few pounds, but as soon as an actress gains five pounds she is either pregnant or fat.
I’ve heard and read so much recently about what a problem bullying is with today’s youth. Where do we, as a society, think that they have learned not only to behave that way but that it is acceptable to do so. Our youth has seen this and learned the behavior. They’ve seen it at home, they’ve seen it as they interact in their daily lives and they have seen it often in media. I do not understand how the values of society became so lowered that it became acceptable to judge someone when you don’t know them or anything about them. Judgment seems to have become a way of life in our society. People see a homeless person on the street and obviously, they are just a lazy bum. That girl you see who has a lot of friends who are boys, well she’s obviously a whore. A man has a female friend, he’s obviously cheating on his wife. If you think someone is too pretty obviously, they had plastic surgery. If they are natural looking you point out the features that you don’t like and call them ugly. It just goes on and on without thought or care about how words can hurt.
Most people who are guilty of these offenses are amateurs in the scheme of insulting and judging. They save their evil comments and spew them forth to hurt those who have crossed them or been deemed guilty of some sort of offense, perhaps simply existing when the insulter does not like them. Personally, I have been a victim of this from people who do not even know me, have never spoken to me and know nothing about me other than some action that they have judged without knowing the truth of circumstances. I try very hard to not judge others and, if I find that I am, I make sure I do not say anything that will be hurtful. I can’t say that I am always successful but I do try more than most. I do not publicly fling insults at my exes or my husband’s ex, although I cannot say that the courtesy has been reciprocated. In my mind we have children in common and as much as I may feel an insult is warranted why should our children be subjected to and witness such behavior. What does it teach them? Not something that I want to teach my children. One of my exes once called me an evil, vindictive, selfish, bitch. It was about seven years ago and each of those words still cuts like a knife. After me trying so hard and giving so much to our relationship at our parting that was the last thing he had to give to me, words that were so hurtful they felt like a physical cut to my soul.
The professional hate spewers are the media. They pick apart everyone. They insult the famous constantly. They don’t look right, they don’t weigh right or they don’t act right. Just because someone chooses to entertain for a living does not give the media the right or obligation to pick apart their every look and action. Why do we, the public, allow and encourage this? We don’t have to visit their websites, buy their magazines or watch their television shows. We do not need them to pick apart the outfits worn by celebrities and then grade them. A woman, or man, is beautiful from the inside out and the trappings they wear on the outside have nothing to do with anything. They are simply an expression of personality and whose right is it to judge that with a pass or failing grade? This is how it starts, the judging and bullying. Someone behaves differently, dresses differently and you judge them… pass or fail.
I know that I, one person, cannot fix this problem. I cannot create a kinder world but I can pray for it. I can teach my children to be kind to one another and to the world. I can also write this blog about it and hope that, perhaps, it makes someone think and maybe pause to reconsider an ill-phrased statement or an insult thrown in anger. Maybe it will stop someone from putting an insult in a comment about a public figure because even if the celebrity doesn’t see it someone else will and think that it’s okay to say such things. I beg you all… be kind to one another. Do not use words to hurt. Love your fellow man and woman, love yourselves, your children and help to create a society that doesn’t feel it’s okay to judge and hurt others. Karma will catch up with you someday and when you are the one being judged be sure you can stand tall and proud, confident in the life you have led and the legacy that you leave behind.