Thursday, August 21, 2014

Why You Gotta Be SO Mean?

You, with your words like knives and swords and weapons…
All you’re ever gonna be is mean

You, with your switching sides and your wildfire lies and your humiliation…
And all you're ever gonna be is mean

All you are is mean
And mean, and mean, and mean, and mean

Why you gotta be so mean?
 -Taylor Swift --“ Mean”

Sorry about channeling Taylor Swift…I’m not usually a fan, but this song is stuck in my head and it seems appropriate.

Is it just me, or does it seem like an awful lot of folks are just plain MEAN?  SO MEAN?

It’s no longer acceptable to have an opposing view, to have some sort of civilized debate and discussion or even to agree to disagree.

In today’s world, heated words immediately follow any mention of opposition.  Things escalate and suddenly death threats are flying.  Or at least wishes for hurt to the “other side”.   
The Ag crowd jumps at shadows and gets mean and ugly.  
Locally, the power company is under attack for proposing a survey for a possible pipeline.    

I could go on and on.

The world is a mean, mean place these days.  And, I’m not even talking about all the wars and skirmishes around the world.

Even when someone dies…someone else needs to be mean about it.  No matter what your stance on suicide, Robin Williams’ family had to be hurting and it couldn’t have helped at all to see and hear headlines that were just plain mean (and utterly vile in some cases). ...and it certainly didn't help anyone else.

I’ll skip the rest of the news headlines that exemplify the MEAN in people. I’m sure you’ve seen them, too.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t have an opinion.  I would never say anyone shouldn’t openly speak their mind. And, I am not in the least opposed to occasional angry outbursts. I would be hypocritical to ever even  suggest anything like that…I’m an opinionated, Southern woman with red hair, an Irish temper…and well-developed vocabulary…believe me, I will tell you what I think! (Yes, I do see my entire family nodding their collective heads in total…and vehement…agreement)

But, could we all just take a step back, draw a deep breath and think before we jump into a conversation with harsh words and cutting commentary?  Oh…yeah…could everybody please make sure they have all the facts before jumping to conclusions?  Listening, actually listening…not just hearing words…seems to be a lost art.

Disagreement should be expected.  Debate and discussion should be encouraged.  (Sometimes, we haven’t seen the big picture and cannot fathom the far reaching effects) But, discourse should be civilized and it is not necessary to “convert” the opposition every single time.  Disagreement does NOT make the opposing point or position invalid.  Perhaps we should open our minds and our hearts just a little when listening to others. 

The loss of Robin Williams brought to light a number of great quotes from his various movie roles.  This being one of them.


  I’d like to use my words/ideas to change it for the better.

                                   ...where ya (DON'T) "gotta be so mean".


  1. I completely agree with your observation! Seeing the same thing here, sadly, every day.

    1. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Here's hoping that we can at least balance the meanness with some niceness.

  2. I have long felt oneness with Charlie Brown's words: I'll be Wishy one day, and Washy the next. Not wanting to talk about myself too much, but I see my life, at age 59, as doing my best to see both, three, eighteen sides. I long put myself down for it, until I learned that it was an ancient Chinese principle to try to look at All Sides before speaking. Go Charlie! Go Barbara!

  3. Cody and I were actually talking about this exact same thing just 2 days ago! I have been utterly blown away by the awful things I've seen and heard regarding Robin Williams. Why on earth do people feel the need to spread and spew hatred? Ugh. It's enough to make you want to stay in bed every day. That is, if we could afford to stay in bed every day, right? But luckily there are plenty of people out there that are wonderful...we just have to ignore the haters and listen for that softer-spoken crowd :)

    1. I know what you mean about the awful things~they really got to me. I seriously thought about just pulling the covers back over my head! But, I'm pretty sure there would be some real complaints if I tried that one, though.
      You're right about the wonderful people. I am privileged to know a number of them. It's important to focus on the good words and ideas they are putting out there.