Do you think there’s still a “middle
ground” in existence in our world? I catch glimpses of it every day, but then
I’m looking for it. Most of the time we are bombarded in the media with a form
of rhetoric that is based more on being mean to others, the intent of which is
to ensure an air of superiority for the mean person.
Mean people don’t just want to make us
wrong. They must be right … always. In fact, even if the mean person is acting
contrary to reality and knows this, the person will maintain their truth is The
Truth., no matter what the facts may be.
On the flip side are those of us, who in
the midst of anger, prejudice, racism, and that overall mean attitude, are
doing our very best to exhibit kindness, compassion, understanding, and unity.
Why are people mean? Most of the
resistance of any kind, and meanness falls in that category, is based on fear.
But there are also reasons that we cannot comprehend and may never know.
In the story, “Steel Magnolias” the
character Ouiser Bourdreaux is accused of being a crazy old woman. In the movie
version, actress Shirley MacLaine delivers the response: “I’m not crazy … I’ve
just been in a very bad mood for 40 years.” But why was Ouiser in a “bad mood
for 40 years?” It’s seldom just one thing in life that causes our attitudes or
moods, is it? More often than not it’s a series of events that molds our
character and outlook on life.
What can we do to deal with meanness
whose sole purpose is to be mean? That’s a question people of love worldwide
are asking over and over. The answer, of course, is not about changing others
and the way they present themselves. The solution involves turning our
attention to the solution, not the problem.
In other words, it’s an inside job. People who are mean only get to affect
our mood, our day, or our life if we allow them to do so. It’s up to us to
ensure we surround ourselves with people who are more interested in getting
along than being right. This is where we get to lead the way.