Libtard, zealot, hack, ideologue, troll, extremist, loon, radical, useful idiot, thug, elitist, radical, loon, rethuglican, moonbat, wingnut… the list goes on and on.
But I have to ask- do people of any political persuasion- left or right- have any real idea of how they come across? Locked behind the viewpoint of their righteous indignation, I can’t believe that most people have an objective perception of how they sound.
Seriously, what is the point- and where us the ‘adulthood’- of just calling someone a ‘poopyhead’? Because the above list is the adult equivalent of just that. When our young people do such things, aren’t they scolded and taught to treat people better? Yet we do it all the time. We are adult children screeching epithets at each other, insults that serve only to enrage and inspire others to respond in kind.
What does that accomplish?
I’m kind of a stereotypical guy in some regards, and one of the things that I tend to fall in line with in that regard is that I don’t much value conversation for the sake of just making noise. I want to exchange ideas, come up with solutions, maybe have an impact on the thought process of another person or, just as valuable, have them help me see something from an angle I hadn’t considered. To me, that is what conversation or talk consists of.
I understand catharsis, and the need some people to just have to flap their gums in order to make noise, but to me, there’s no logic in it, no point to it in a social setting.
It isn’t just social media where this is a thing, but the advent of social media has made such things quite prevalent. It’s on display in sort of a timeless tableau where insults don’t just disappear into thin air; they stay graven for all to see in electrons on our computer screens.
You see it all the time, closed groups where people just shout their unheeded opinions into an echo chamber, heedless of the futility of the exercise; posts where folks dogpile on one person who dares to make a comment that might be even slightly out of phase with the groupthink going on in a particular thread.
What is this need we seem to have for futility? We have become a mindless mob of individuals locked safely behind the anonymity of a screen name.
Individualism used to be, and I guess it still is in some small parts of the world, considered to be a good thing. World history is replete with people who are revered for thinking differently, for blazing a new trail of mastering a new technique or approach. I guess those folks have always been ridiculed and vilified to a certain extent, until their approach changed the status quo; and then their new perspective becomes, ironically, unquestionable gospel.
We’ve had thousands of years of this. Haven’t we learned our lesson yet?
Wisdom exists everywhere. We need to shake this perception that we need to hate or dismiss those with whom we disagree. It limits us; it keeps us trapped inside a comfortable bubble where we rail against any corruption of our rarified atmosphere.
Get out of your bubble. Have a conversation with someone who disagrees with you. Become more than you are.
If you aren’t afraid to, that is…