Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Do You Believe In Tinkerbell?

"....I know you're going to say that you're just speaking the truth, and I'm
sure you think it's elementary for me to criticize you on this, but I've noticed
that people today like to be mean for no reason. Why? This is just something
that has been bugging me lately..." -- Reese the Law Girl

I clipped the above quote from the comments section of a fellow blogger whose site I read routinely. I had posted a comment to a post on this site, and the blogger's response to my comment was somewhat harsh and judgemental. Reese the Law Girl, another blogger reading the post and my subsequent comment on the blog, posted her own comment in response to the original blogger's post; and then followed up with a second comment in which the above excerpt was embedded addressing the original blogger's response to my comment.

This post is not a commentary on the particular exchange between the blogger in question, Reese, and myself. Instead, it is an examination of a bigger issue that I think this exchange is indicative of....the unconscious, almost automatic meanness we all sometimes display. When I saw the original blogger's response to my comment, [which I must add, though in disagreement with his position, was totally respectful of his viewpoint even as I asserted my own], I too felt as Reese did: His response was mean and for no apparent reason! Like Reese, this is something that has been bugging me lately.

In the course of doing my job, I go in and out of buildings multiple times every day. I enter hospitals, medical buildings, cancer centers etc. and interact with receptionists, gift shop staff, and others that I meet in elevators, stairwells, and various places as I go about my business. I smile, sometimes nod, almost always say at least a hello. If I am going into a building and notice someone coming in behind me or trying to enter just as I'm leaving, I stop and hold the door until they are through. However, I find that frequently, I have not received the same treatment when the situation was reversed. Why not...I find myself wondering?

As I watch television [reality TV in particular], the comments that are made about and to people constantly shock me. From Simon's downright rude and totally irrelevant comments about American Idol contestants to comments such as the one I heard this evening on America's Next Top Model when one of the judges made the comment about a contestant that "if we were looking for America's Next Top Tramp, she'd be a shoo-in because she looks like a tramp.", I often find myself picking up my lower jaw from the floor. I constantly find myself wondering...Why was it necessary that he/she say that? Does the privelege of being an American living in the land of "free speech" entitle any of us to behave in this manner?

Those of you who come here often know me to be an upbeat, optimistic person who typically tries to find the silver lining that exists without a doubt behind every cloud. Even so, I would not say that I am a "goody-two-shoes" whose "virgin ears" are easily offended. I enjoy a good joke as much as the next person, and sarcasm when in the proper context and not utilized to diminish others, is one of my absolute favorite sports [notice I said sport....not bloodsport!]; after all, I grew up in the hood and can "play the dozens" with the best of them. However, increasingly, I find that more and more frequently I am double-taking on things I can't believe I heard or saw. There seems to be an ever-increasing trend which I can only diagnose as an apparent decline in the importance of using what we know.

Whenever I do something that I know my parents would not have been proud of, I jokingly say "Please don't blame my parents for my behavior because though it may not appear to be the case, I was taught better than this....my mother taught me better, but currently, I'm choosing not to use what I was taught!" I often find myself wondering whether this is the case universally anymore or if we are simply failing to teach the basics anymore. As they say, [ALL I EVER NEEDED TO KNOW, I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN]. Is this still true? Are we still being taught everything we really need to know in kindergarten?...you know, the basics like play nice, share, say please and thank you, if you can't say something nice, say nothing at all...? Are we being taught these things still and simply choosing not to use them? Or, are we simply not being taught these things at all?

I'm finding that people are rude and oftentimes even mean when there is absolutely no reason for them to be this way. It happens everywhere....at home, at work, at church....you name the place, it doesn't matter....it's everywhere.

I think it comes down to the possible impending death of "the two uncommon commons" as I like to call them:

  • Common sense

&

  • Common courtesy.

I can't be sure, but there is a good chance, that they both may be on the verge of death if not already in their respective graves. Common sense always told us that those around us probably want no less than we ourselves want; and to improve our chances of getting what we want, we should make our best attempt to give others what they want. Common courtesy always compelled us to treat others with kindness, consideration, compassion, and respect simply because it was the right thing to do. As we all learned in kindergarten, It is NEVER wrong to do the right thing! EVER! I for one, sure do miss these two uncommon commons and would love to see more evidence of their existence.

To that end, I thought a Peter Pan/Tinkerbell moment might be in order. So, if you're reading this post still, take a second at your earliest opportunity and do something, anything to honor and show your support of the two uncommon commons in the hope that the demonstration of your continued belief and faith in their powers will sustain them through this rough patch. Smile at someone, nod or say Hello, hold a door or pick up the quarter they dropped while trying to pay for their groceries instead of watching them chase it across the aisle....do something, ANYTHING. Hopefully, this will cause the commons to once again begin to germinate, pollinate, and blossom like fields of jasmine across this great gift called MOTHER EARTH until one day, we will get back to where we once were....incorporating all the things we ever needed to know and learned in kingergarten into our day in day out interactions with the world around us!

5 comments:

Serenity23 said...

I was beginning to wonder where you were. Hope all is well. Common sense is not common that's for sure. People are too involved in selves to be courteous to others sometimes. But i have to admit that lately, I've been privileged to meet people who go above and beyond what they have to do to be nice to me. Whether it be an encouraging word, telling me I look nice or picking up lunch for me. I'm thankful for that.

DJ Diva said...

I have to be honest...I was wondering when you were going to talk about what happened...having witnessed it...I have to say...I even thought the blogger went to far...It's one thing to be sarcastic...but it's another to be insulting. Hindsight is always 20/20...and you can tell some folks have issues...

I try to soften my words most times...to avoid the appearance of judgement or meanness....I don't like to get my feelings hurt so I want to make sure I treat people the same way...

And if I ever made anyone feel bad who reads you..here's a public apology...

And Sharon...I meant to say...Thank you for the poem on my birthday...I have it up on my desk along with LadyLeezie's Birthday Post to me...Yall were really nice to me on my day...so I thank you!

chele said...

Tramp? I thought they said she looked like a "Trout" on ANTM. It doesn't matter, I get the point. I don't know why people feel the need to just be mean for no reason. My feelings don't get hurt easily and I give as good as I get but why? It doesn't cost a thing to hold a door open for somebody or to say 'bless you' when they sneeze.

Let's bring back the uncommon commons!

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