My generation (and my parents – Bambi first came out in 1942) grew up on wholesome Disney like Bambi. There were messages in there that seemingly coincided with how I was supposed to act in society. This seemed to function nicely throughout my childhood. My parents told me not to do certain things for many reasons, and my books and movies backed up those claims. I learned to be polite, to respect my elders, not to shout or be overly obnoxious. I was taught to hold the door for others and make sure to listen when being spoken to. Please and thank you. Bless you, when you sneeze. If I failed to do these things, I was reminded to. If I failed on purpose, I was reprimanded with a gasp and a stern talking through clenched teeth because arguing was also not a real public thing.
This set of rules were applicable up until recently. But dear Lord if I had a quarter for everytime someone recently broke the “don’t say nothin at all” rule, I would have no issues paying off my student loans. Alas, I make no money when other people do things wrong (that’s only private prisons), so I’ll have to simply ask here publicly: what in the world are we doing lately? Can anyone else see how we’re acting? Thumpers father would not approve. Neither would mine.
I have over 2,000 facebook friends. Many of these people have different opinions on politics – US and worldwide, which is great and I thrive off of trying to understand each and every one. This makes my Facebook feed a brilliant explosion of confusion and memes all voraciously demeaning the other side – and they’re all filled with rage. I have anger too. I have so much anger about many, many issues that are in the public eye right now, and I’m sure it’ll leak out occasionally on these pages over the year.
The thing is, from my experience living life in the past thirty years, even back to watching Bambi for the 100th time at my grandparent’s house when I was five, I have never seen outwardly-directed anger or meanness help anything. If you can’t say something nice, what are you trying to say? Where is that anger coming from? Why is insulting the other person the solution to the situation?
I don’t want to live in a world where putting other people down is WINNING. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. Or at least think about what the real issue is and have a discussion about that instead of throwing insults. We absolutely don’t want silence, but honestly, it’s better than the noise that is drowning out everything else lately.