Thursday, February 7, 2008

Why are people mean?

Martha Beck answered this question in a 2003 November article of O Magazine:

"Why are people mean? Here's the short answer: They're hurt. Here's the long answer: They're really hurt. At some point, somebody—their parents, their lovers, Lady Luck—did them dirty. They were crushed. And they're still afraid the pain will never stop, or that it will happen again. There. I've just described every single person living on planet Earth. The fact is that we've all been hurt, and we're all wounded, but not all of us are mean. Why not? Because some people realize that their history of suffering can be a hero's saga rather than a victim's whine, depending on how they "write" it. The moment we begin tolerating meanness, in ourselves or others, we are using our authorial power in the service of wrongdoing. We have both the capacity and the obligation to do better."

Abso-fecking-lutely. But.....that is the inner-peaced, happy and stable, balanced, possibly therapized answer. There has got to be some better ones. I remember my mother always telling me that people who were mean were jealous. That worked until I fought back in sixth grade and got pimp-slapped by an eighth grader who had bigger boobs, no braces, and lots of James Avery rings from boys. Uhh....she was NOT jealous.

That's why I think people are mean, mostly, because they can be. I find it fun and entertaining when in jest, or in the comfort of my living room, but when is enough; enough? I think people who are mean-spirited to hurt someone should be left alone for days on end. Isolation with the malevolence of their own minds.

I don't know the real answers, I resolve to not knowing. I do know (from tons of experience) that it is WAY easier to be mean. Quick! Try saying three nice things about Britnesy Spears. Seriously. Maybe write a really really funny poem about all your faults and sit on it, ponder your imperfections...then contemplate your previously necessary mean dig. Maybe step out of yourself and look at the world as a whole from 100,000 feet.....see if your angst is significant in the bigger scheme of things? There are some people I have witnessed who seem to be mean-ninjas. They feel like the world is better for them having thrown down the sword of mean truth, or spin-kick,bubble-popping inspiration and positive change. I have been that person every blue moon. Sometimes I even chalk(ed) it up to pest-control, or managing the general ego of others. Sometimes, it was just to get a laugh. Shameful.

I guess I challenge you and everyone to try and be nice. See if it is contagious. We can consider it a meanlessness experiment. After all, it won’t last. We all know that, so what harm is a little absence of negativity?

I'll start. "Wow, you look really good right now; your face has a youthful, yet insightful glow from the computer screen light. You are so very loved. Tomorrow is going to be a big day for you. Big things are happening...lady luck and love are gaining on today’s bend and shall see you sometime after daylight next. Thanks for being you!"

Karma kind...know it, fear it. Go be a ninja of nice.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

------the short answer is, tahdaaam---- because they are people! I believe the answer is to accept and forgive OUR OWN as well as other people's meanness. As long as it is not permanent! We are all allowed all the human feelings in the spectrum, for whatever reason! End of sermon!