American Horror Story
October 14, 2013 by almostakiss
I came up with the hashtag #globalheartwarming on Twitter awhile back. I thought it would take off like gangbusters but it just floated out there, never to be seen again. I’m going to rectify it for this post and hope we can warm some hearts across the globe by revisiting The Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Although it was written in old Biblical language, the message is often dismissed as too simplistic and outdated. I couldn’t disagree more. I was raised with this always in the forefront of my mind. It wasn’t just a saying brainwashed into my mind. It was so much more than that. It was a memory guide in my brain that I would consciously and unconsciously turn to in different situations. It made me ask myself if what I was about to do or say was something that would hurt another person.
The Golden Rule (or ethic of reciprocity) is a maxim. I didn’t know that term until I googled it for this post. What it reminds us to do is have empathy for others. You wouldn’t think we’d need to be reminded to treat others with respect. Every living soul, human, animal or plant and everyone’s personal property. Not to mention the earth itself. I believe some people are innately empathetic towards others. Others have a harder time with it or can’t seem to grasp it at all. It sure wouldn’t hurt to go back to teaching The Golden Rule and make others aware of the people and things outside of themselves. People have gotten so callous, they think nothing of being extremely rude. That in itself isn’t a crime and people can get over that. It’s the utter cruelty that I can’t wrap my head around. When a stranger goes out of their way to verbally or physically attack someone who is minding their own business. Whether it’s for a joke or just to vent their own mistreatment by someone else earlier in the day, it’s not right.
We can think whatever we want about others. We can be judgemental and all kinds of ugly. Obviously, this isn’t healthy or wise but it goes on all the time. Then there’s the people who for some unknown reason, feel the need to be just plain mean TO SOMEONE’S FACE. To go up to someone (or shout from a distance, making sure they’re heard): “You’re ugly!” or “You’re fat!” or “You’re queer!” is disgraceful. I wrote about something similar previously when addressing vile blog comments (not to me) that were so far over the top in their viciousness. This is where bullying comes in as well. I could write a post about bullying since I dealt with plenty of it as a child. It is just too trendy of a topic for me. Pretty much everything has already been said about it. Except to tell my own personal story which no doubt I’ll get around to eventually. Just because you don’t like something about someone, what gives someone (ANYONE) the right to lay hands on another?!
The fact that there is so much concern about guns in our society is missing the point. The problem with our society’s lack of empathy goes much deeper. If people had any empathy for others, they wouldn’t be able to shoot ONE person, let alone 47. The true American Horror Story is that people are raising kids that can torture animals and fantasize about killing people as a stress release. If I was raising a child who seemed to have no feelings or thoughts for others well being or pain, I wouldn’t just be worried sick. I’d probably be afraid to go to sleep at night for fear of being murdered in my sleep. No doubt I’d be afraid of the child harming someone else. I would feel personally responsible if I had raised a child who saw nothing wrong with being intentionally hurtful. Not only would I feel like a failure as a parent, I would feel the need to do something about the child like keeping him or her away from others. Much like a vicious dog owner needs to keep his dog away from other dogs and people if he KNOWS his dog will attack others.
I suppose I shouldn’t judge others when I’m not a parent myself. Plus there’s nothing like being judgemental while telling others not to be. Hypocrite much? However, that is a large part of why I didn’t have kids. I was afraid I would raise my child to be too sensitive like I was as a child. I didn’t want to have a kid that would have such a hard time with the difficult parts of life and relationships with other people. After being bullied like I was, I don’t think I could stand by and watch my child be beaten up repeatedly, ridiculed endlesslessly, etc. Even though I couldn’t stand up for myself as a child and was completely non-violent (to the point of not fighting back because “I might hurt him”), I can’t say I would be hands off now. If my child was physically abused by another child and the parent acted like it was not a big deal, I would lose my shit. Then I’d be the one locked away, not the monster who did it or the person responsible for raising the monster.
I don’t know the solution for so much evil, apathy, anger and cruelty in the world. Since the generation I grew up in, there has been a huge emphasis on instilling self-worth in children. When I was growing up, kids didn’t have any and it wasn’t expected or encouraged. I don’t necessarily think it’s a bad thing. I think everyone should respect themselves and think enough of themselves not to let themselves be taken advantage of in any number of ways. However, I think an equal emphasis needs to be put on respecting others. Treating everyone the same no matter what. Maybe the very differences we celebrate as adults are the cause of the non-acceptance as a child.
A lot of the old ways of thinking have gone by the wayside. And with good reason. Other wisdoms from the past have been shed but they could really help a lot in today’s society. I never liked “Don’t rock the boat” because usually the boat NEEDS to be rocked. Yet, I do agree with “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” There is much to be said about keeping quiet instead of doing emotional damage to someone. The Internet needs to learn this lesson, especially all the anonymous people who can’t stand behind their own words. The only thing worse than being cruel and vicious is doing it anonymously as a coward. Not owning your ugly. That’s today’s thought of the day: If you can’t be nice, own your ugly. 🙂