Thursday, February 3, 2011

Can't We All Just Get Along?

My dad and I often times joke that we are "students of human behavior." When going out to eat, my dad and I both strategically place ourselves in a spot that will allow us the maximum amount of people watching abilities. (Shane gets so mad at me and tries to beat me to the seat that he knows that I want!) We would both much prefer to sit on a bench in a mall than actually shop at a mall- simply to be able to watch other people and "try to figure out human behavior." (I promise, I am not as creepy as that just made me sound!)

We like to people watch. We like to try to "figure people out" by what they wear, how they talk, their mannerisms, and their interactions with others. We are not by any means being judgmental or talking about people negatively, we just like to see what makes other people tick. There is something fascinating about human nature and I like to try to figure it out.

One of my newest "people watching" techniques is to read comments on online articles. Yahoo is my homepage. I'm always fascinated at the articles that sometimes are classified as "news." What is even more fascinating (and quite frankly really REALLY sad) are the comments that people leave on the articles.

I'm always amazed at the amount of fighting and negativity that comes along with just about ANY topic. People always have something to complain about, spout off their opinion about, or spew hate towards others with differing opinions. Some of the things that people bring up are so far fetched and off the wall, that the only thing to do is laugh.

For example, about a month ago, Yahoo posted this interesting article. I found it particularly interesting because Shane and I both grew up in Northwest Indiana- just about 2 towns over from Gary. My brother has gone and explored that church. When we were in high school, we used to drive through Gary late at night trying to show off how "brave" we were, all the while trying not to show our of fascination for the disintegrating city.

What I found even more interesting were the comments to that article. Comments putting the blame of the decay of the old church building on anything from global warming, socialism, the end times, liberalism, Obama, unionization, taxes, greedy corporate America, neo-Nazi fascists, immigration, globalization, Walmart, Bush, Muslims, and the list could go on and on and on.

When I read the article, I didn't think about anything but what a beautiful old building it was, and how neat the pictures were that were taken of it. It also talked about how urban decay is now becoming a "hot topic" for photographers- which I believe is a really cool concept. There was absolutely NOTHING in the article about any of the things that commenters were fighting over. I was amazed at how quickly the comments turned towards the negative side, especially when the article had no political agenda at all.

Here is my question. Why do people feel the need to use other people's work to spout off their opinions- especially when not asked? Why do people show hatred towards each other over something as simple as taking photographs of old buildings, or Justin Bieber's voice changing, or Willow Smiths' upcoming fame and success? Why do we as a society have the me, me, me mentality? Why is everything based on what we believe to be true- and if anyone believes differently then there is no room for tolerance or understanding?

I will admit, I have failed in this area. I have been judgemental and spouted my opinion when never asked for it. I realize that we are all human, we all make mistakes- but why do we all have to constantly fight over the smallest of things? What are we teaching our children when they see constant turmoil, judgementalness, and bullying? Do we really want our children to grow up thinking that they are the only person on the face of the earth that is entitled to an opinion?

I know, I for one, don't want my children to grow up that way. It's a constant battle that needs to be fought- that concept of self importance and arrogance. Sometimes I fail miserably at it, but I also try my hardest to be understanding of others- even if we agree to disagree.

Imagine if we lived in a world that we could all have our own opinions without the fighting, bickering, and hate. I can't even imagine what that world would look like.  I wish we could all just get along.


Nikke said...

I have often thought the same thing.
Someone posts something of value and others have to knock it down or find some kind of fault.
What happened to supporting others and having a decent conversation?

The Houser's said...

who's the stalker in our friendship now?? next ladies night will find us at the mall, preferably in those massage chairs people watching!! lmbo

My goal is to raise the kids with kindness, caring, compassion, determination and that they are not judgemental to anyone.. Opinions are okay - BUT with the knowledge that what is okay for them may not be okay for another. It's darn hard!!

Carla Sue said... my hit the nail on the head. ;)

Jennehrm said...

Well said!

BTW - I love the new picture of Joshua you placed under your profile. So adorable! Your kids are all pretty wonderful.

Anonymous said...

The anonymity of the internet provides people with a false sense of bravado.

There's something about hiding behind your computer in the comfort of your own home while lounging in your jammes that tends to enable even the mildest mannered people an outlet to be incredibly boarish and rude.

My thoughts anyway.

Jamie Roberts said...

I do the same thing Jill! I read those comments all the time, and I have to stop myself from responding back to a lot of the hateful ones. I don't have the gift of tact. I'm just a fellow redhead :)

StevenSauke said...

One word: AMEN!

Lindsay Clark said...

I'm with Purlesque on this one... the anonymity of the Internet has stripped us of kindness and decency. We don't have to be nice anymore, so why be nice? :(

I was watching an episode of my favourite BBC show (Torchwood) online recently. The first comment on the episode was from someone who called the lead actress (who I think is quite beautiful) an ugly __ because she has a gap between her front teeth. Things went quickly downhill from there.


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