Let's Pretend We're All Human Beings for a Few Minutes

Oct 12, 2012

I'm veering really off-topic from my usual posts today because there's something weighing on my mind. This morning, I read two articles. One about political posts on Facebook and Twitter destroying friendships, and another about a teen girl who committed suicide because of bullying.


Okay, world. Here's the thing. Can we all pretend we're fellow human beings for a little while?

Those two articles don't seem to be related, but to me I see a sad trend that common decency is no longer common. On the political front, things are very hot right now. I purposely do not get political online-- not because I have no opinions, but because I value people more than online political discussion. That doesn't mean you shouldn't state your opinions, that's just my preferred tactic right now. Politics have a tendency to be divisive, particularly, I've noticed, in this election. There are two vastly different choices for our next president that are polarizing the field.

Let's hit that pause button again,  peeps. We're all humans, remember?

I hate seeing nasty, biting comments online about people from one group or another, or even about one candidate or the other. Because here's the thing. The other side? They're not the anti-Christ. Believe it or not, I don't think anyone here wants to vote for a particular candidate because they want to destroy the country, and I doubt that's either candidate's motive, either. Of course, depending on your views, you may see the other side's tactics as a bad idea. But can we please remember that underneath our conflicting views, we're all human beings whose desire is to MAKE THIS WORLD BETTER? Disagreement is fine, and even healthy on the political front. 

But please, let's be human beings. Let's at least be civil in our discussions.

Be inspired to be kind.
The girl who was bullied and committed suicide is a darker issue. In fact, it's completely appalling. Granted, mistakes were made on all sides. And I know bullying is by no means a new thing in this world. But for the love of all that is holy, why on earth are there teenagers (and let's be honest, adults as well) in this world being so completely horrible to each other? Who is teaching the rule that each of us is personally responsible to take another person to task--in cruel ways-- for mistakes made or perceived? Or just for being different?

There was once a rule to treat others as you want to be treated. Fellow human beings, right?

So, my friends, I think there's only one thing to do. Kindness often engenders more kindness, so go out and be kind today. And tomorrow. And for as many days as possible. Maybe write a book that deals with cruelty and hardness in the world, and maybe write about it being overcome. 

And each day, remind yourself to do three things: Be kind. Be considerate. Be a human being.

32 comments:

J. A. Bennett said...

I couldn't agree more, I don't post political things either for the same reasons.

I saw that article about the girl posted this morning and I couldn't help but cringe. I underwent something similar as a young teen making stupid choices, but the internet wasn't around then to make matters worse than they already where for me.

There where times when even though what I was going through was mostly secret I still questioned my worth and thought about doing stupid things.

If I had suffered what this girl did at the same age, I might have made the same choices which just makes me a hell of a lot madder (excuse my language). I wish people would see that each life is fragile no matter their views or the mistakes of the past. So, so sad.

Angie said...

Hear, hear, Shallee! Well said.

Sarah J. said...

I have also taken the silent route during political discussions. I agree about valuing relationships more than online discussion.

In the first novel I wrote, my MC is a middle school bully who almost got sued for her cruel words online to a fellow classmate. Her reason for bullying was jealousy, and she lost her boyfriend and all other friends because of it.

My daughter's elementary school had an anti-bullying week last week. I'm glad students are being taught that, but I think their parents will be the best examples of how to treat others kindly.

Jenny S. Morris said...

I don't talk politics either for these same reasons. My hubby does a lot but he doesn't get mean about it. He's just really passionate for our countries well being. With the online community people have lost that face to face conversations so they don't have to look in someones eyes when they say something hurtful. It's really sad. Don't get me wrong, I love the online community.

Emily R. King said...

Very well said, Shallee. I'm not interested in other people's political opinions online. If I want to talk to someone about politics, I'd rather do it face to face.

L said...

Amen to that

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

Well said!

Rachna Chhabria said...

I definitely agree with you Shallee. Being Kind, considerate and human should not be so difficult.

Julie said...

I can only "amen" the responses and your post. Let's be kind! Life is, sadly, all too short for meaness.

David P. King said...

Exactly how I've been feeling lately, too. I even heard about a bus driver telling a kid he should have been aborted because they disagreed politically. Really? An adult picking on a kid? Let's all rewind and be kind, ya'll! :)

Myrna said...

Well said, Shallee. Thanks so much for writing something that needed to be said!

Miranda Hardy said...

It's important to know there are great people out there willing to do what it takes to help and teach others. Sometimes, it's discouraging to read the news.

Have a good weekend!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Treat others as we want to be treated - the Golden Rule!

Donna Hosie said...

Well said. I am seriously considering leaving some forms of social media for the next few weeks because the vitriol is poisonous.

Angela Cothran said...

The anonymity of the internet lets people say and do things they would never do face to face. Lets just remember who is the author of all contention and who is the author of all kindness. Pick one :)

Angela Cothran said...

I didn't mean for you to pick one :) I already know who you pick :)

Yolanda Renee said...

Timely post. Sad for the young girl and her family.

But if you look at the air waves, getting into peoples faces and being the mean person is too prevalent. It a shame, especially when this is sometimes the only example some children have. Sorry, I'll stop now, but I agree, it's gotten out of hand, everyone needs to step back.

My fear, the worst will happen before the masses do just that.

Jeigh said...

Very well said, Shallee. Thank you! (That girl's story is heartbreaking.)

The Golden Eagle said...

I agree on your point about politics. Much as the divided sides argue the other is set to destroy the country and try to paint their opponents as enemies--as many writers have said, the villain never sees him/herself as the villain (not saying anyone's a villain in actuality, of course. Just attempting a comparison).

So sad about the bullying. Thank you for the reminder!

Laura W. said...

I personally am not opposed to talking about politics online, as long as the discussion stays civil. Tempers are running hot right now, but we should be mature enough to separate the politics from the person. I wouldn't break up a friendship because I don't agree with a friend's political views. Also, I think that trying to have civil political discourse is important enough that I wouldn't mind losing a few followers over a political blogpost, for example.

Suzanne Furness said...

Well said. A little kindess goes a long way. I can never understand the way some people behaviour toward one another.

Traci Kenworth said...

I agree. We all need to step back and take a look at what's really important: each other.

shelly said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I was horribly bullied in school and thankfully, I never had the desire to end it all. As for politics, I don't like the scene so I stay away from it.

Hugs and chocolate,
Shelly

Lynn(e) Schmidt said...

I just read the article about the girl, it is incredibly sad. Suicide is a really difficult topic for me, because (especially in the videos and things) I just want to hug them, and tell them I love them.

Then with cyber bullying, a lot of people have been attacking me on twitter for voicing my opinions (my fault, I do get political), but in a country where we're allowed freedoms, we should be able to say, "This is what I believe" without being told that I should have killed myself because me being alive somehow hinders another movement's agenda.

Thank you for this post!

Gwen Gardner said...

I couldn't have said it better, Shallee. I'm on the same page as you. I never comment for or against. I carry my own inner truth and that's good enough for me. I'd never force it down somebody's throat like I've seen on FB. And these are good people I've seen do it, they just tend to forget the human aspect. Thanks for the very eloquent reminder:)

Lorena said...

I agree with you on both issues: politics and the suicidal girl. But do you see another thing in common here besides people being ugly to each other? They're all doing it thru FB. I don't understand what it is about Facebook that has made people: 1) Lose all sense of privacy, 2) Feel entitled to say or post anything they wish without any regard as to who may be reading something and whether or not it will offend them.

Technology has brought many benefits to society, but it has also shown a very ugly side of humanity. I cringe when I think about how the world will be like when our kids are teens.

Diandra said...

I ugess people forget that everybody - even those who make mistakes, be they in politics or in everyday life - are trying to do the best they can. We all deserve compassion.

(Even politicians, I guess. Ugh.)

Tara Tyler said...

we had an "alice" drill at school, a mock drill that a crazy shooter was in the building. we talked about what we should do and they joked, but i reminded them that it was possible & you never know, like the incident at the movies.

i told them the best way to prevent a person from going to that extreme is to be nice to everyone & not tease those different from you. i wish everyone had to go through sensitivity training to renew their drivers licenses...

nutschell said...

WEll said! Exactly why I don't like to follow politics. Kindness is a much needed trait in our society nowadays.

Nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Charlie Holmberg said...

SERIOUSLY. I heard about the suicide (so sad, and so unnecessary), and the politics are so over the top. Seriously, people need to calm down and be more considerate. I feel like the Internet and the ability to hide behind a keyboard brings out the worst in people. :/

Lorena said...

"I feel like the Internet and the ability to hide behind a keyboard brings out the worst in people. :/"

I agree with Charlie here. I thought things would change once people started using their names and photos, but I GUESS NOT!

J.L. Campbell said...

Good post. I have noticed the not-so-nice comments particularly on Facebook. I used to admire the way Americans conducted themselves during election time - friendly rivalry, etc. I'm not seeing that these days.

Yeah, we need to remember to be kind to ourselves and others. We do have to live with each other post election and period.

 
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