I was on goodreads last night updating my reading status.
I am reading a book and hopped on to read a few reviews about it. I frequently do this to get a feel for what I may or may not want to read. I like to get a broader spectrum overall about a book before I invest precious time in reading it.
I may need to stop doing so. I found myself getting a little upset.
I saw many good, but also many negative comments about the book, all the time thinking, how could so many people have such an opposing expanse of thoughts?!!
I continued to read, getting a little upset over how people spit out hatred at each other over opinions, and then, I continued to ponder….
We are VASTLY different, this world of people. Two of my best friends detest seafood while it is my go-to choice at restaurants. I love a get-a-way at a cabin on a lake and a cup of early morning coffee sitting in the midst of mountains and pine trees, while my daughter prefers a high-end hotel with lots of city buzz.
But here is the thing.
We are a diverse set of people. That means what works for me may be repulsive to you. And what you may thrive on, I may be completely disinterested in. And throw in beliefs and opinions and morals, and, have mercy, people can get downright disrespectful and hurtfully mercenary. I have seen people literally tear someone down on a Facebook post for misspelling a word or forgetting a comma in a sentence. Sharp darts thrown to wound and belittle over nothing.
I mean, just toss the words Republican or Democrat out in a conversation, and watch people bristle. Oh, and please, for all that’s good and righteous, don’t post these two words on Facebook. People will come out of the woodwork with their teeth and claws extracted to tear…
So what is it that makes the nature of people turn to disrespect so ferociously, especially on social media forums?
Is it the ease of the written word with no expression or tones to caution the pain inflicted?
I read the reviews of the book I was reading and was astounded at the arrogance, the meanness and the fight that ensued on and on. Those I could literally imagine through my iPad screen shouting, pounding their first, or worse – looking disdainfully down on another with the air that they didn’t even matter. Horrible fights happening over beliefs, opinions and morals in a comment to a complete stranger from perhaps another country…
I see this all the time on restaurant review sites. Remember that your word on a site could be the straw that breaks a restaurateur’s back…or their career or means of living.
And I loved the book.
Negative comments were about style and prose and poetry and that’s fine, if done respectfully. But this just wasn’t the case. If you don’t like poetic writing, for gosh sakes, don’t read those kinds of books, and don’t accuse the author of being a Satanist. I mean, seriously…fight nicely kids.
I watched a video the other night about a man who blind folded himself and put up a sign asking for a hug. And I was touched when, particularly men, stopped and offered a hug to a complete stranger. It warmed my heart and I wish I could say it is warmed like this from witnessing life on a daily basis.
I think there should be a required course in high school where everyone has to learn about how to be nice.
Because when you are rude, disdainful, condemning and mean, you are really just saying someone else’s life doesn’t matter. You aren’t operating out of love, and gratefulness and honor for someone else whose story you don’t even know.
And I’ve found out stories about people. And I’ve repented for my initial uneducated judgements. And I am trying to become a better person at living life with other humans. I am not completely innocent of this in life.
Because believe me, I have strong beliefs, and opinions and moral judgments of my own.
I get it.
I just don’t get people not being kind.
Am I alone?
Kindness is free. And you and I may need it from someone soon.