That’s it! I’m fed up with mean and nasty, greedy, self-entitled, self-serving, destructive, endangering, fear-mongering, discriminatory, hateful actions and the people who own them. And I’m tired of malice getting a pass from kind and decent people who know better but don’t call them out and say, like social Super-nannies, “That’s unacceptable!” I am also fed up with hearing that all humans are basically that way, because I have many friends and colleagues who are brave, creative, dedicated, brilliant and kind-hearted, and who prove otherwise. Yes, I know! I am REALLY lucky that way. (If you don’t, you must get out more!) If there is matter and anti-matter, they are the antidote to malice – the anti-nastiness people!
So why write about this contrast? Well, first to point out bad behavior as such and make fun of it, ridicule it and shame it in order to shake the idea that mean behavior is okay. I prefer laughing at problems rather than crying, loud swearing, rude gestures or throwing things, not that i’m completely above those. I’d like to build on the art and tradition of survival humor – Native American, Irish, and Jewish cultures include real masters, and i am but a humble admirer. When you laugh at bad stuff, even terrible stuff, you diminish its power.
Second, I want to suggest responses – mostly productive, but perhaps sometimes just venting. Some responses we should just share amongst ourselves. And third, for general relief and inspiration, I’d like to feature people doing great stuff – acts of kindness, intelligence, generosity, courage etc. The list is longer than you think. And i will try not to get sappy, but sometimes it’s a good sappy, and we can all get a little verklempt and feel better about the human race in general.
So welcome to my little world of outrage and giddiness, fist-shaking and teary-eyed empathy, bleeding-heart liberalism, under-dog cheering, absolute wonder, worry about the fate of the planet, strongly-worded letters and warm-fuzzies.
And mean people, watch out. Nice people are not all doormats.