Birds of a Feather
I have been watching debates today online about gun control. I feel rather discouraged because so many people are displaying such hatefulness. Sometimes I wonder if being on Facbeook has been a good thing for me, sometimes I’d be better off without all the negativity, but then I remember that I have met so many amazing people…and for that I am grateful. Gun control is a heated topic, to put it lightly, but I am wondering if it has become normal behavior to be rude and condescending to people just because they have a differing opinion than your own. This seems to be so prevalent these days, it’s almost the “norm”. I hear of my friends who work in retail getting called all kinds of ugly names for very trivial reasons (like the customer’s order did not come in). I am finding that I am less and less accommodating (now there’s a MUCH better word than “intolerant”!) of people who want to act this way. Earlier this week I had a client tell me I was an “ungrateful jackass” because I was expressing a sentiment about not being comfortable in accepting large gifts from people. When did it become Ok to call names and attack just because we don’t agree with someone? I don’t think I realized the extent of this until I saw it happening on Facebook during the elections. I’ve been blessed to be surrounded, for a very long time, by people who are intelligent and sensitive even while being opinionated. (Quite the combination, but it works. You can be very opinionated without resorting to name calling and rudeness.)
I have decided that I don’t want to engage with these people. I would not have them into my home or have a beer with them and I don’t want to have exchanges with them on online social networks, either. I no longer find that I thrive on drama. I don’t want to argue. I want peace in my heart, my home and my world. It begins with me. And it begins with you, too. One person put it so nicely today when they said “There comes a point where you have to say, you are welcome to have your opinions, but your opinions are such that I really don’t want to be your friend.” (Thank you to my cousin for that gem.) There are people right now on the internet comparing President Obama to Hitler. It’s not funny. It isn’t a joke. Even if you don’t agree with our president, he is not in the same league as Hitler.(And even that is such a massive understatement.) This is ludicrous and breeds something very, very ugly that I want no part of. I’m tired of engaging with people who espouse hate. I am letting go of the “haters” and the negative people around me. I know I’ve been writing a lot about the same kind of topics lately but it seems that this is such a major problem in our country and in our world. People have lost the ability to be civilized to each other. If we can’t even be civilized with each other, and those we profess to be “friends” with, how do we ever expect to be able to do bigger things like decrease crime rates and make our country and our world a better place? Our children are watching us and what we do speaks far louder than what we can ever say.
I definitely don’t think I am a Pollyanna, nor do I want to be. But I hope that I express my opinions without belittling other people or resorting to rudeness or name calling. I have to stop and ask myself what I hope to accomplish by writing about this, yet again. I’m not sure. Maybe I am venting. I know that we cannot change anyone’s behavior but our own. We can change how we respond to other’s behavior. I, for one, do not want to continue to enable people to be rude. I learned a few years ago that when someone is on his or her high horse and they enjoy running over everyone in their path, they will continue it until enough people say, “Stop it, this isn’t cool.” They’ll either stop or they’ll eventually find themselves with very few friends. If no one ever calls them out on it, then they continue on and on.
The following is an exchange that took place in my own life. It began on Facebook when someone insulted a good friend of mine. The person was extremely rude to my friend so I removed that person as “friend” from my page. After they were removed, they messaged me. I waited a week or so until I felt calm enough to respond in a rational way. I spoke my truth with what I thought was integrity, honesty and kindness. The response I got should have been expected but was instead a little shocking and somewhat hurtful to me, but at the same time, not really all that surprising. I had a friend who used to say to me, “When you squeeze an orange, what do you get?” Orange juice. The true colors of a person come out when they are put on the spot. Someone else recently asked me what the energies are that are allowing people to behave so badly. My personal opinion and that of others who are aware of the energies is this: we are in a time of truth that cannot be hidden. What is inside a person is what is going to come out to the surface to be seen by all. Illusions are falling away.
I guess what I am really trying to say here is that our words (as well as our actions) have power. If we want to create a better world, then we need to heed what we are doing and saying. Like I said earlier, the next generation is watching us. We, as the adults, are the example. I am definitely not saying we always have to agree. We don’t. But our conversation does not have to be filled with insults and rudeness. These things totally shut down the pathway to any kind of meaningful dialog. I have to speak my truth, stand in my integrity and then sometimes make the choice to walk away and bless the other person on their journey. We learn from everyone, even if we are only learning what we don’t want to be and what we don’t want in our personal space.
- December 22, 2012
Well it’s good to know where you stand on friendship. Say something a little off and get cut off, but It’s all good, you have a good one!
You have said plenty over time that I found offensive and I never removed you.
- December 24, 2012
Also, You removing me….Is Childish…Which just shows me what type of person you are!
(This response was well over a week later after I had some time to think about it.)
From: Kathy Lee
I am very happy that you understand what “type of person” I am. I am someone who will not allow my friends/family to be abused by unnecessary rudeness, sarcasm and insulting and condescending behavior by other people in my life( or on my facebook). I am fiercely protective of those I care about.
If I was offensive to your or yours, you should have happily removed me long ago, I encourage people to remove me if I cause offense. So, my apologies. That’s not what I am about.
In addition, I wanted to say that you showed me the depth of your character by betraying what I told you in confidence about someone. (That person told me themselves what was said.)
I live by the motto, “show me who you are and I will believe you”. There are times when no further conversation is warranted and it is better to cut ties and part ways.
So, you have a good one, too.
First off Kathy I don’t remove people for having a different opinion on something, nor do I remove people for being slightly or very rude to a friend of mine. Sorry, but I do see that as extremely Childish. Whatever the Argument or Disagreement two other people are having that is between them and not between the 3 of us. If I removed people for being rude to a friend I wouldn’t have any friends on my list considering the vast people I know with socially different views. Sorry, but your friend in the post took what the Gentlemen Meant way out of context. I saw it as looking for reasons to be offended. She could have gone about it with better tact and not so on the attack. Let’s just say for argument sake that I agreed with her offense. I wouldn’t have attacked him like that. No one likes being attacked like that, and if you do attack expect a response because that is just human nature. The Gentlemen was stating his opinion without the intent on offending anyone and she came swinging.
I have no idea what you are referring to when you say betraying confidence. Considering we’ve only had a few conversations here on Facebook, and we never had an in-depth conversation face to face. As far as I know you have never told me anything in confidence. If you did please point it out….If not? Well that is up to you!
From: Kathy Lee
We do differ in our responses to rudeness. I am “childish” because I don’t tolerate it in my home, at my dinner table, in my work ~ or anywhere, not even on Facebook. I don’t tolerate (in your words) “slightly or very rude”. That is simply not acceptable to me. I was brought up to be respectful to everyone and I expect my “friends” to be respectful to each other. I don’t think that’s asking too much. Actually, I find it amusing that you would call me “childish” because I don’t tolerate rudeness. That’s wild. I am actually sorry that you are surrounded by people who cannot exhibit common courtesy to each other.
I am at a different place in my life where if people in my life cannot be civil to each other, then I don’t want the drama of that. I don’t know if you can relate to that. I expect human beings to treat each other with respect even when they disagree.
The “gentleman” and you were both very sexist in your views and that is fine if you want to discuss it with each other but my friends and I find it hard to tolerate any kind of degradation of women. Again, that’s just me and the people I associate with. We expect equal courtesy to everyone: black, white, male, female, gay, straight. You get the picture.
As far as my friend’s tact……you weren’t and aren’t tactful yourself so you cannot judge anyone on that issue.
We did speak in confidence about someone and if you don’t remember, then I do not feel at liberty to bring it up because I don’t want them in the middle of anything. It was months ago via private messaging.
So…I suppose in essence we are all entitled to do what is best for us and the welfare of our friends and family. While you find rudeness and disrespect acceptable, I don’t and I never will.
Yes Very Childish!! LOL!
I tolerate other peoples different opinions without fear of me cutting them off! I Tolerate people who have different way of expressing themselves. I tolerate people who LOVE taking things out of Context…Like you seem to love to do….For Example…..A while back I posted a picture of what happens to women under Sharia Law…..Then you attempted to lecture me by saying something like…..Well you can’t Judge All Muslims…When there was NOTHING in the post that said…This is how ALL MUSLIMS ARE!! I had MANY people send me many private messages saying how you obviously didn’t read that post, or how you must have failed Comprehension in School….I stood up for you…..I told them that You just wanted to make sure that people weren’t going to hate Muslims, and took up for you by saying that you don’t like seeing anyone being mistreated. Personally I thought you were rude and insulting me in a small way, but I knew it wasn’t your intent so I let it go. Why? Because unlike you I am capable of Tolerance!! You don’t want to tell what was told to me in confidence? Oh Well! I will get over it….Look I am Over It!!
(The End.) (Truly.) (Time to walk away, enough is enough.) (Share your light.)
Kathy Lee 12/17/2012