Yesterday, I wrote a blog post about how hard it is to parent now-a-days. It was, more or less, a rant fueled post because I was tired of the tone of parenting everywhere I look. Parents judging other parents, people who aren’t parents judging parents, people who are no longer in the trenches of parenting young children judging parents – the list is endless and I was tired of it, so I did what any writer does. I sat down and I wrote out my anger and my emotions. I’m quite happy with that post, it struck a chord with a lot of people – just like I intended. A lot of people messaged me saying “A-freakin’-MEN!”
It appears that I’m not the only one fed up with this tone society has on parenting and expectations.
For every ten people who say something nice and encouraging, there’s always that one person that says something cruel. Most of the time, when a bully says mean things, we are told to “ignore it“. We are told that the bully is just jealous of our success. We are told that the bully is deeply unhappy with their life, and they get a cheap thrill out of tossing hurtful comments to people they may or may not even know. They say you haven’t make it big unless a bunch of people hate you and express that hatred daily.
But I’m tired of “ignoring the bullies“. That hasn’t worked in the past and it certainly won’t work now. I’m tired of this mindset that I should be proud that I have a bully that’s lurking in the shadows, striking out at random times with words meant to maim my heart and my soul. I demand more, I expect more.
How can we sit there and cry out about all the injustices of the world, about how the world needs more love and kindness, and yet sit idly by and watch while bullies lash out in hatred and anger again and again? It starts in our backyard. It starts in the halls at schools. Bullies grow up to be even bigger bullies. Bullies never stop, not until they’re enlightened on more purposeful ways of dealing with their own personal struggles and perceived inadequacies.
This bully – or Internet troll, as we’ve taken to calling such people – attempted to break me with their words. They did hurt my heart, they did mark it…not because their words rang true (they didn’t), but because it is a perfect example of how far we’ve fallen as human beings. It’s a perfect example of how much entitlement and selfishness rules the majority of people in today’s society. It’s a perfect example of how respect is just…twisted. You give respect to other humans because all humans are worthy of respect, or at least – that’s how I was brought up. Be kind to strangers, be kind with your words, and be respectful towards other people and their feelings.
There is a new tone with respect, one I don’t particularly fancy at all, and it starts when people proclaim that their respect needs to be earned. They fail to acknowledge that there are many kinds of respect, and everyone deserves your basic respect. They believe even the most basic respect – being kind with your words and your actions to someone – is an earned privilege.
That’s not so. We can’t collectively move forward and fix what’s wrong with our broken society if we do not demand and expect everyone to uphold the same values when dealing with one another; respect and kindness. Integrity. Empathy. Those are character traits that we need to nourish, not only in the children of tomorrow but in ourselves as well.
This is me, standing up and saying: I will not be bullied. I will not be trolled. I expect more from the people around me, and if you cannot have basic respect and kindness towards others – I will cut you straight out of my life and not look back.
To the “Internet troll” who sent such ugly words to me yesterday: you don’t have to read my blog posts, you don’t have to take the time to “learn about me” (as you so feel you have). There are limitless things in this world that will undoubtedly bring a smile to your face and fulfillment to your life, and if my content doesn’t make you happy…by all means, walk away and find what does.