I have mentioned that I’m not big on New Year’s resolutions. What I am big on, though, is hitting that reset button. And I know I have to hit it a lot of times, but it’s because I’m humanly imperfect. You know how it is. It is like thinking that you are going to start eating more healthily while subconsciously snacking on something that has no business being in your house in the first place, much less your mouth.
Recently I saw several facebook statuses informing people that for the New Year, friend lists are going to be cleaned and tightened. Folks are going to get rid of people who drag them down. They are going to lose people that don’t give meaning to their lives. They are going to drop acquaintances and keep real friends. The first person I saw with that, I did him a favor by unfriending him before he unfriended me. But then I saw the trend and realized that it was not up to me to do their dirty job. Okay, I was looking for an excuse to unfriend that one. J
I am old enough to know that we really can’t change others. What we can do, however, is to cause changes in people. And to me, the best way to affect others is to make the changes in ourselves first. The other day, I was speaking to a friend and she inquired about someone. Instead of saying, “Oh, that’s so nice of you to ask,” I took that as a green light to denigrate the individual. And, I was caught in the act. You know that look you get that says, “Really. That is so not cool!” Instead of making excuses and covering it up, I acknowledged that I was wrong and thought to myself, “Really. That is so not cool.” Added by, “Myra, you can do better!”
So regarding that particular flaw, I have decided to make a concerted effort to do much better. I sometimes suffer from diarrhea of the mouth, and I am sure some of you occasionally think, “Man, she writes like she just dipped her fingers in some…..shut your mouth.” I am not sure how long I can do this for, but in the past few days I had several opportunities to run my mouth off again, then I thought about the incident, and stopped. So if there is hope for me, trust me, there is plenty of hope for you. Therefore, instead of deleting people from my facebook list, instead of reducing the number of friends and acquaintances that I have, I prefer to clean my own closet. I figure if we all work on our own toxins, then the world will be a much nicer place in which to live.
As some of you know, I do not watch as much politics and news as I previously did. I just didn’t like the way people were assassinating my President’s character; so since I couldn’t handle the heat, I left the kitchen. Then news was just becoming ridiculous. There is a network called E!. It specializes in ENTERTAINMENT news. There are shows like Entertainment Tonight and omg! Insider, which is now called The Insider again; but I digress. My point is this: there is no reason for CNN to act like Miley twerking at the VMAs or Kim and Kanye naming their baby North West is breaking news. I don’t have a problem with people watching celebrity news. I just don’t want to watch celebrity non-news on ‘serious’ news channels.
And then there is ‘world’ news. First off, the only time these networks bring on world news, is if it is pertaining to the crisis in the Middle East. The Israeli–Palestinian conflict is at least 66 years old. I’m not saying that the conflict will ever be resolved, but you will NEVER hear me say that the conflict will ever be resolved! And after America got her feet wet by getting involved in the 1958 Lebanon crisis, fifty-six years later, she still hasn’t left the shores. So, until they have some new news for me, I refuse to listen to or watch the same old, same old.
But what has really been bothering me lately is people thinking that it is okay to attack others, especially people they don’t even know, on social media. Okay, I know some people sort of deserve it; and I know our mothers always say, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all”, but it is impossible for people not to say anything when folks like Donald Trump, Kanye West and Sarah Palin get in front of an open mic.
Maria Kang, a 32 year old former beauty queen, fitness aficionado and mother of three toddlers posted a picture of herself in a skimpy exercise outfit along with her sons and the caption ‘What’s your excuse?’ on her website. Well, that caused a firestorm as less fit women were insulted and said she was fat-shaming (a term I myself had never heard of before) them. You hardly saw any, “Well, that was inspiring. Let me get up off my butt and do some exercise.” Would it be too much to admit that we really have no excuse? Was it really easier to say that Maria’s intent was to put down and not encourage others?
I get most of my news from AOL when I check my email account. Yes, some people still use AOL! And it doesn’t matter what an article is about, the comments ALWAYS resort to hatred, bigotry and prejudice. An immigration story will always have people negatively stereotyping Mexicans. A story about the Obamas or inner city shootings will always have people talking negatively about black people.
And these people have no problem being insensitive about the hurt that others are feeling. It doesn’t matter if people are thousands of miles away; it doesn’t matter if there is no face to the comments; it doesn’t matter if there is no name to the comments. What matters is that people are talking about other human beings.
Just the other day, George Lucas, his wife Melody Hobson and their infant made a rare appearance and that was all it took for people to call him the baby’s great-grandfather and selfish regarding his age and to comment on the fact that this is his first biological child so his older three adopted children won’t get as much money as the infant, who by the way someone had the nerve to make a remark about her eyes. Seriously! She is five months old.
What is going on in people’s lives that they exude such ignorant hatred and ill will towards others? What fuels people to extend such vile regards to others? I don’t know the answer to those questions, but I will try my utmost to watch what I say and what I do, because perspectively speaking, when the shoe is on the other foot, it doesn’t feel too good.