Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Why Are People So Mean?
One can really observe human behavior by reading blogs and message boards. Sometimes the downright meanness startles me! I know it's easy to hide behind a computer screen and say really awful things because there's no penalty or consequence. The worst that can happen is the moderator may remove a post or ban an excessive offender.
I believe we live in a society that truly lacks empathy and compassion. It's indicative of the mass numbers of individuals quietly and loudly suffering, tormented and in severe pain for a multitude of reasons. Once upon a time, let's say in the 50s, people just wanted to be "middle-class." Then in the 80s came designer labels and luxury cars, lifestyle marketing started to define and dictate what the good life was supposed to look like. People wanted to be affluent, upscale and moving upward toward becoming rich. In the 90s, the heat was on, people just wanted to be rich as fast and as young as possible and the new entrepreneur was born. The dot.com industry took off, software engineers were Gods, information technology was where all the jobs were. Teens were opting to skip college and go directly to work with leading information technology companies. Bill Gates and Microsoft led the personal computer operating and office software industry. Hip Hop dominated the music industry and poor kids from inner cities, college students and even hoodlums could become millionaires overnight.
The new Millium, people wanted to be rich and famous, working in the entertainment industry. The doctor, lawyer, engineer or athlete were no longer revered by young people as a path to living a wealthy and prominent lifestyle. "Fast-track has taken on a new meaning, especially, with the invention of Google, YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking tools on the Internet, it's now much easier to become "famous." That's where we are today, people just want to be famous for no reason at all.
Since we've moved way beyond desiring to be "middle class," the "white house and picket fence," the "American Dream" has turned into being on Forbes richest lists, our contacts, who we know. There's so much to measure up to if you watch TV, especially, reality show, films, surf the Internet or read magazines. Celebrities are instant role models with legions of devotees watching their every move and sighting. As we've become a more visual and graphic society, gossip sites, tabloid magazines and blogs only need to post pictures, mostly of celebrities attending events, entering or leaving restaurants, caught in questionable positions that a photo may capture to create headlines, hot topics and news stories. Video footage or salacious photos can go viral instantaneously and new media darlings and stars are born or crucified. In between those capitalizing on the perrenial 15 minutes of fame, we're bombarded with music videos, television commercials and red carpet coverage of "the good life."
So I would imagine that it's disconcerting for the average joe to really feel good about his or her own life, when the bar is raised so high with unrealistic standards of gold for the masses. No one really celebrates "character" or "kindness." Most of the praise and accolades go to those who perform the best or the people deemed worthy of our attention, money and praise, regardless if they're great performers or not. Often, they're engineered media and marketing stars, if you see it long enough and often enough you'll buy it is the method to the madness. Quality is second to numbers, whether it's magazine circulation numbers, rankings, championships, ratings, music charts, website hits, visitors or box office receipts. We only respond to numbers that wow and we don't care how it happens and who becomes a causality in the process.
Many can't phantom how they'll possibly achieve the celebrity, fame or fortune as those we worship or detest and I believe this one component really makes many people just downright mean. At the end of the day, we all basically want the same things; we want comfort, warmth, admiration, consideration, peace and some of the material things life has to offer. Through all of our lifestyle marketing campaigns, prosperity preachers or life coaches, no one really teaches us how to become lifestyle specialists. A specialist that knows how to take a little and make it a lot, whether it's backyard barbecues, picnics, visiting museums and parks and above all things shaping a value system that's full of mutual respect and integrity. Instead of chasing A-listers, prominent people, movers and shakers or worshiping celebrities so much, let's value the people around us, people we do have access to and try to grow these relationships or bounce! We all possess untapped resources and talents just waiting to be set free! In doing so, I really believe living a passion-filled life is just as good, if not better than anything we can see on on TV or read about because it's ours!
Good people make good lives, not just the jewels and other fine things, but courage, generosity, integrity and WISDOM...