Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Why Are We So Negative?

Life is difficult. As a journey that begins with a trauma and a slap on the ass, it's one long (hopefully) series of joys and pains, tears and laughter. Nobody has it easy, though wealth does make the misery more tolerable. With all the stress and all the problems, compared to people in other countries, we have it pretty good. But the one message that seems relevant is that we are all human beings and except for the rare anomalies of evil souls, most are at least attempting to be good people. Why is it then that we are so cruel to each other?

We had our yard sale this past weekend. And we did okay. We didn't do as well as we hoped, but we sold enough stuff to make it worth our while. But during the day, as people filed in an out, some of the rudeness of people was just plain hurtful. Look, we have more stuff than we needed and the Fan isn't saying that he has the greatest taste in the world, but at one point in time, the items purchased seemed to make sense. Now that we need some capital, it's time to discard stuff we don't need. Is that a reason to trash our stuff? Is there a need to put people down because nothing was pleasing to your eyes?

Why does this happen? The Fan spends an overt amount of energy trying to be as kind and polite as possible. One of the nicest compliments the Fan ever received was when a teacher told the Fan's mom that she had the most polite children the teacher had ever encountered. That was a badge of honor. Why is it not the norm anymore?

Did you watch the Sunday Night Baseball telecast? Did you hear Steve Phillips go after the Mets like Wright and Beltran and Reyes? What was his need for such cruelty. Are they perfect players? Well, geez, no. How many perfect players are there? How could he question their character and commitment? The Mets have faltered the last two Septembers. Wouldn't the Pirate fans feel lucky if that was their team? At least the Mets were competitive? At least they could be fun to watch. What made Phillips do that?

Joe Posnanski had a technical glitch on his blog today. After he got it back up and stated the obvious, several commenters took it upon themselves to jeer what happened to him. Don't they understand that he probably had a traumatic and stressful day and could have used more kindness? What is wrong with us?

Why do we take such delight in the failures of Michael Jackson, Lindsey Lohan, Michael Vick and others who have struggled with what should have been a positive life. The Fan feels nothing but compassion for the wrong turns they have taken in their lives. Of course, if Jackson did anything to those kids, then all bets are off. Perhaps that wasn't a good example.

Most are saying that Vick should never be allowed to play football again. Is that how we should be? He did something terribly wrong and has paid in spades for his error. Is he never allowed now to have any good in his life? What if that was you? What if you were talking on your cell phone and in a flash of a second, hit a pedestrian. A terrible mistake in judgement. Sure you should take your punishment. But should you never have any smiles or joys the rest of your life? Is that what society thinks? The single biggest tool in this universe is forgiveness. It's amazing how well it works to clean out a soul. Too bad so few people understand this concept.

The Fan publishes books. We aren't a big company yet and still depend on local events and the Christmas season to pay the bills. We sell our wares at a booth in the mall. The Fan has spent many hours there with pride in our workmanship and our quality. Then a lady will walk up, look at one of our handsome books and state with disgust, "Twenty bucks for THAT?" This same lady was probably nodding her head vigorously when Obama was talking about stopping the flood of our jobs overseas. The Fan wasn't in a good mood that day. His feet and back hurt and sales were slow. His response? "Well, they aren't made in China! They are made with pride right here in Aroostook County." She huffed and walked off.

The point is that we are trying to build something here in a time when the economy is difficult. What was her need to be so negative? What does it say about us as a people that we need to feel better about ourselves by crushing somebody else?

The Fan isn't immune. Livan Hernandez has felt the sting of this keyboard. So have other players. Perhaps that is another point well taken. But read any tabloid, listen to the late night talk show monologues, read the myriad of awful and mean-spirited comments on any website or blog. A lack of kindness is prevalent and it is appalling.

Perhaps the Fan is a pie-in-the-sky sort of guy. But isn't that better than the alternative? The Fan wants to be a light in this world. Don't you want the same thing? If not, why not? Think about it.

1 comment:

Josh Borenstein said...

Good post. Yeah, I was surprised Steve Phillips was so aggressively trashing Wright, Reyes, and Beltran. All 3 of them have been phenomenal for the Mets, and it's certainly not their fault the team hasn't lived up to expectations the last few seasons.