Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Rolling In The Mud Pit

Written By Don Shetterly
I know, it feels like you have to engage with others slinging the mud.  In all reality, you don't have to join in the mud pit.  For those people who are sensitive and care deeply, it feels like you have to fight back and stand up for what happens online.

Now, before you get me wrong, let me explain.  I am not talking about turning a blind eye to anything, especially abuse and people who are a bully.  It is my opinion that if you engage them and as a result, they engage you, you are rolling around in the mud pit with them.  If two people roll in the mud together, you can't tell them apart.

It is like someone that calls names on the playground.  If you call them names back, are you any different?  In my view, one becomes the same as the name caller.  If one bullies another and you do the same back, are you any different.  I would suggest that we are not.

In fact, with everyone screaming at one another or the ones they deem as being horrible and disgusting and abusive, the screaming is only rolling around in the mudpit with them.  It serves little purpose.  They are not going to listen.  They don't care about anyone's viewpoint but their own.

I grew up in a house like this where whatever was said by my Dad or older brother mattered.  Even if they were flat out wrong, they would still argue with me.  Here are two instances that are minor but show what I am referring to in this post.

One time my sheep needed some medication and I knew it.  I always read up on the latest techniques for caring for my sheep.  My neighbor which also had sheep worked with me to help me learn how to properly care for them.  Because I said to my dad that we needed to give this medication, he fought me.  In his eyes, I didn't know anything.  It took me getting my neighbor to come over and convince him that we needed to do this.  No matter what I said or did, my dad would not listen.  He was flat out wrong, but it was his way or no way.

Another time when I was a kid, my older brother tried to convince me that we needed to somehow buy a riding lawnmower.  I was much younger than him, but understood far more.  He argued with me that if we bought the lawnmower on payments, we only had to pay for it during the summer.  As a small kid, I knew this was not how things worked.  He argued until I just walked away and got my parents to convince him that he was wrong.  He was not going to allow for the fact that maybe he didn't understand things.  He was convinced he was right.

While these examples are minor, it is the same basic thing we are doing online and in family and friend circles today.  We just scream at one another.  We don't listen and we don't even hear the other side.  Everyone is an enemy that doesn't know anything.  While others may be flat out wrong, they might have valid points and if we don't attempt to see those, we're rolling around in the mud pit.

The human ego loves to be right.  It wants to be heard above anyone else.  It wants to know that it is in control.  The heart is shoved aside as if it doesn't matter even though it begs for everyone to engage it over the ego.

In this day, we're spending more time in the mud pit screaming with one another and it is almost impossible to tell each other apart.  We think we're adding something to the day, but we're adding to the problems.  The egotistical people who think all others are the enemy are not going to listen to reason.  Their ego will not allow them.  To engage with them in this way, will only exasperate the situation.  In fact, if you ignore their rants, it would drive them crazy and insane.  The only thing is the human ego is not wired to do that.

If you're very sensitive like I am and have been abused in the past, this behavior drives you crazy.  I struggle with it.  I weep for it.  This world is being cranked up into a danger zone and if we don't reverse this quickly, our collective health is going to suffer in ways that we cannot even see.

We can all do our part to not engage with the abusive bullies of our day.  We can work to help further civilization and humanity, or we can just get down in the mudpit with everyone else.

I no longer watch the news.  I do read some headlines, but the news is toxic and this goes for just about any side of it.  We've lost sight of this so much that we can no longer tell the difference.  It feels like we cannot survive without this toxic news we gulp down every day.

Making the world a better place isn't about what everyone else does.  It is what we do as individuals.  Collectively our attitudes and responses make up civilization.  If we do that which we despise, we're no better than those we deem as adversaries.

Let us get our own life in order and let that shine for the world to see.  No, it may not drown out the screaming voices in the mud pit, but I believe there are enough of us that together will be much louder in the end by not engaging.

Blog Post And Images (c) 11/29/17 by Don Shetterly
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