Since this blog has a few purposes – healthcare/other news, health info for my family and descendants, a place for me to rant and rave, and a commentary on social norms with a plea at the end to “be kind” – it’s sometimes hard to choose what to write about.
I don’t want this blog to be overly negative. But sometimes, when I get to thinking about my life in relation to the rest of the world, and I come to the conclusion that I need to make changes, I guess I can sometimes be seen as a “Negative Nelly” (hey, I found that in an urban dictionary, so it’s not as old an expression as it seems). I hope this isn’t one of those times.
I read a lot of articles and blogs. I comment on a few in their comments sections. I do it to make a point about something, not to argue or berate someone. I usually never even look back to see if anyone responded to my comment, because I am not going to be suckered into an internet “war” – that, to me, is unproductive and a waste of time.
But I do read others’ comments from those who posted before I did, to see what they’re thinking in reaction to the initial article. And all I can think is…
…how hateful they all are. Mean, and angry. And if you call them on it, they scream. “It’s only the internet. Lighten up!” And then they call you names or swear at you.
I find that puzzling, because what they posted before that was a personal attack on someone – another poster, or a person in the news, or an actor, etc. Personal as in, “He’s ugly. He has no talent. She’s stupid. She’s a fool.” Or even, “Why doesn’t he/she just kill him/herself?”
Considering how much some people – especially young people – are hurt by cyber-bullying, to say things like that and then claim it’s harmless or has no effect is false. Otherwise, why did the person post it? They clearly posted it to make the other person feel bad. And that alarms me.
It also made me think of that old saw, “You are treated only as badly or as well as you allow.” And I think that is the biggest bunch of new-age crap, ever.
It should be stated as, “If someone is treating you badly, don’t allow further contact.” Because no one is responsible for bullying or treating others badly except for the person who is doing it.
See, this is what drives me ’round the bend about new-age adages: They make everything personal responsibility except how others act.
If you’re poor, it’s because you don’t want money badly enough.
If you’re ill, it’s because you don’t eat right or you can’t visualize your body as “well”.
If you’re born disabled, you chose that in another life.
If you’re battered, you did something to provoke it (ok that isn’t a new-age thing, but I threw that in to show how the other statements are just as ignorant).
Or, as someone tried to point out to me recently, if you are hurt by daily/monthly/yearly microaggression, it’s because you ‘let it get to you’. Completely missing the “water on stone” metaphor I wrote. And not addressing the problem, which is people’s treatment of the poor, in general.
I’m not sure what this kind of thinking does for anyone, except for well-off, healthy, insensitive people.
Aside #1: It also helps some sell their “cures” for poverty, illness, disability, sadness. Cha-ching!
It gets them off the hook because, hey, they can be sure they didn’t have a hand in any of it (even if they did), and they don’t need to help because it’s all karma anyway and who are they to interfere with the universe?
Well, aside from teaching/selling the secret of the week to a better life, they also have the side benefit of being smug about their own entitled life. They can give their less fortunate/wrongheaded/clearly unenlightened friends unsolicited advice that, because the new-age thinkers are so grossly insensitive, just serves to make their friend feel worse for talking to them.
This brings me (finally) to the subject of today’s post: The sometimes painful act of eliminating certain people from one’s life, because they consistently bring you down and hurt your feelings.
I have a friend I reconnected with awhile back, who is one of the best friends ever. He is supportive, he gives great advice/feedback not only about this blog but other things I ask him about, he and I can discuss things without arguing, we have a lot of fun emailing back and forth, and I know I can count on him when I really need him. I am sure he feels the same about me. We are good friends, and I am so glad for that.
He represents the standard by which I began to look at other people I considered “friends”. Not acquaintances, but actual friends with whom you share personal stuff and so on.
He is one of the very few of my “friends” who actually reads this blog. I put that in bold because, how hard of a requirement of friendship is it to read something once a week that takes just a few minutes? The time it takes for the usual “bathroom reading”? Even after I appeal for feedback in order to make this blog more interesting, they can’t even drop me a line or two to tell me why they don’t like it?
That is such a minimal test of friendship that I don’t even pause a second when I cut contact with them. Some probably don’t even notice or care – proving they weren’t friends to begin with.
Aside #2: Some actually have the gall to tell me they are “too busy to read it”. Yet they routinely post on Facebook, all day every day. And ask me what I think of their writing/artwork. I used to go to their links and give them encouragement, to show them I care about what they do, because that’s what friends do.