Thursday, June 4, 2015

Intolerant of intolerance

I have read some interesting and troubling stuff this week on news sites.  I made the mistake of watching a few news programs and reading on line.  And it has made me want to retreat once again away others because it seems that there is zero tolerance for those who are different. Sad, isn't it--how little the feelings of others matter. I am appalled at how mean people can be, especially when hiding behind a computer. Sadly, I am getting to the point that I would rather not be around anyone who is intolerant. I guess that makes me intolerant of intolerance! I like to think of it as discernment though.

It seems though that everyone feels "entitled".  People have an opinion and are entitled to express their opinion, even when it is cruel and hurtful.  I  have opinions, but I do my best to have balance in how I express them. I remember that keeping my mouth shut can be a valuable thing to do. Entitlement seems to one of the catch phrases of today-- I am entitled to express an opinion, I am entitled to practice freedom of speech. All true, but sometimes it is best to consider and measure my words so that I don't do damage to others. THINK is a good program acronym--is what I am saying thoughtful, helpful, intelligent, necessary and kind?

I find that social media is all about airing private things in public. No matter what we post, it is open and out there for anyone to see. It can be deeply personal or it can be neutral--yet it is still available to people, many of whom I have not met in person nor do I know that I ever will. I question doing this quite often. But isn't being on social media a little bit like watching a train wreck? We are all voyeurs in some way which is why we are here.  We like to know what is going on with others.  And it seems that sometimes the most comments come when someone is having a hard time.

I am not referencing us bloggers who have been communicating for years, but to those social media outlets like FB and Twitter where people seem to take a delight in hiding behind a computer to cut, bash and argue with others.  My wife shows me comments from "friends" about how gays and lesbians are going to Hell because they are not following the Bible.  And the trans community is most definitely damned because they have changed from God's image. Neither one of us understands this vision of a Higher Power.

I think that unless people are hurt, abused or oppressed, they can live the lives they want.  I am reminded over and over of the mantra in Al-Anon that it is none of my business. I wish that others would learn to mind their own business, live and let live, and view others with compassion.  That seems to be a much better way for me to keep my serenity--in addition to not watching or reading news.


  1. I think we were all probably better off in a way when one's entire view of the world was no bigger than the village one lived in.
    Keeping one's tongue was far more important then- you had to LIVE with these people. They were quite literally your neighbors and your family.
    Those days are gone forever.

  2. I agree 100% with your commentary on the commentary but the news? No way man, I am a junkie for information. AP, Al Jazeera, The Guardian, local media. i want to know when the hammer is going to fall, especially the local hammer.

  3. Whenever I see mean comments like that, I consider it probably comes from some desperate lonely soul, sitting at a computer, with no other life.

    I wish they could find something else to do. Even the local newspaper is full of vitriol in the comments section.

  4. I hear you, Syd. Before I began posting on FB I thought hard about what NOT to do. It is a good way for me to stay in touch with my sister overseas and with friends who don't live down the road. I post pics of landscape, of plants, of my dog once in a while. I post links to articles and literary reviews I find interesting. I block controversy and any disrespectful posts. I don't post images of myself or close friends as a matter of principle and I don't post images that will distress or offend people.

    Those of us who have blogged fro a long time have learned the hard way about boundaries, privacy and not saying hurtful or intrusive things, when to keep quiet and what might be misconstrued. It's a long slow learning curve but there is a tradition of courtesy and thoughtful communication even on social media. If others don't respect those rules, I exercise the option to exclude them from my space. And if I can't maintain a safe-enough space, I have the option of leaving it myself.

  5. Syd, You are discerning, sensitive and thoughtful. I think is why so many people read your posts, myself included....I too see that intolerance (and should I add ignorance and stupidity) are on the rise. Lines have become blurred between what is important or not and what should be kept private or not. I'm seeing that people are more glued in to their smart phones and computers than what is actually happening around them. Isn't that ironic?


  6. Maybe the difference between you and them is in the discernment. I try to always look at intention before I open my mouth (or type a comment). Sometimes I forget but more and more I look at what is my intention? Is it about me or the greater good? I miss the days of objective (relatively speaking) journalism. Since I've begun looking in, I am able to see when others need to slam others in an effort to elevate themselves. I don't really have time for that. I'm over fifty and I am becoming more discriminating over how my time is used.

  7. I couldn't agree more. I think the biggest problem too is that people feel safe behind their screens and keyboards. Most of these people wouldn't dare say these comments face to face or out loud in public. Unfortunately social media brings about a sort of hurtful cowardice from people who have nothing better to do. I understand that opinions are welcome, but abuse, harassment, etc. is not. We can all have our own views and beliefs, but it does not extend to being harmful towards others. It's a shame that people do this. And the people they are bashing do not hurt them, bother them, or affect them in anyway. So leave it alone, mind your own business, and keep your mouth shut (unless you can express yourself without being ignorant, rude, and hurtful towards others). Its sad that those who struggle with mental illness, or are gay/trans get such horrible treatment.

    I love the THINK acronym. I'll definitely be passing that along. It's an important thing to learn. Thanks for sharing that.

  8. I did see/read a number of positive stories regarding Caitlyn Jenner this week, which I find encouraging. Not too long ago, I'm not sure this would be the case. So progress? She looks amazing and it must've been very difficult for her to live with this as a secret for so long. She went to one of my high schools (well before my time) and football/track stadium used to be named after Bruce but was apparently removed a few years ago for unrelated reasons. I kind of wish it was still named Jenner Stadium.

    Intolerant people are usually scared people. It doesn't excuse their behavior at all, but it does help me frame my own anger at them.

  9. Whatever happened to just plain love ...intolerance wipes it out. I feel that there are so many ways to forge a relationship and if there is love there it should be encouraged, not laughed at or ridiculed or,even worse denegrated.

  10. I am grateful for compassion toward myself which still does take patience and working a program, then extending this out to others. Like to believe the more I work on myself, the world around me gets softer also...and it keeps spreading out
    to the lonely computer folks


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