This past weekend I witnessed two angry people hashing out their differences in public. Normally I just let what other people say to wash off me, but their anger resonated with me. I wonder often, why people are so angry, and then I realized, “why do I care?” I noticed I’m way too invested in what someone else is doing, rather than focusing on the moments around me that could offer joy. Here’s what she said to him: (I’m paraphrasing because as she and he slaughtered each other I took short notes. Yes, without permission so please don’t judge me. She’s younger. He’s older than her but not by much.)
In a tempered but serious tone, she said, “You’re absolutely miserable! You sit on your throne of a recliner quarterbacking everyone else’s life except for your own. You wake up every single day and cannot wait to get to your *insert explicative* iPad. You’re so focused on politics and what you fear an entire generation is going to do without your ranting and raving. You spend every waking minute disparaging another person, determining the faults and the mistakes they make; pointing them out, and stepping on them to elevate yourself! Then you tell them they don’t have a right to live their own life because they don’t agree with you. You are a miserable son of a bitch who is so lost and so alone and so afraid that you can’t even see your prejudices! You’re so worried about what somebody else is doing! You don’t even know who they are. You don’t know what they’ve been through. You don’t know their backstory. You don’t know what brought them to their beliefs! But you’re so damn quick to judge them and that judgment is making you an absolutely miserable person.”
He looked pissed off! Without responsibility, he said, “I have a right to my opinion. People have to know! It is my job to tell them why they’re wrong. Without people like me, this country is in serious trouble because the Liberals are going to bring it down because they don’t understand what they’re doing. If I don’t say something that I’m just as guilty as everybody else who is apathetic.”
She gasped and then she slapped her forehead. “Do you even hear yourself. What are you doing? Are you running for office? Are you paying for ad campaigns? Are you backing up a particular candidate? No! The only thing you do is post hate and discontent on social media. As though it is everybody else’s job to understand what you have been through, lift you up and agree with you; and make you feel like what you believe is 100% more valuable than what they believe. The only thing you’re doing is spreading more hate and more judgment and creating more division. You’re an argument begging to happen! You live to tell someone how wrong they are and how superior you are, as though your dictatorship of thoughts should be the only opinion considered!? Is that American? Is that equal? Compassionate? No!”
I cocked my head and nodded because people have said this about me. I had to take a step back and admit at times I’ve had nothing but FB in my life and in those times focused on the latter of what it offered and not the positive. As I writer I observe all the time. I continued to write as he rebutted.
Wounded now he stated, “You talk about me being hateful. What about you right now. You have hate in your heart for me.”
She sighed heavily and replied, “You just don’t get it. Please tell me the difference between your ideals and terrorist ideals? Aren’t they both born in anger? You judge me because I hold you to the same accountability you hold others. You judge me because even though I’ve lived a life of tragedy with lots of pain and loss I clearly don’t feel the sorrow as deeply as you and therefore my pain is dismissed. You judge me because you say that I shouldn’t have an opinion, because I don’t understand the things that you do, yet you show me no compassion! Damn if you don’t expect me to respect you in return. You judge me because I am young, and I am trying to forge my way in the world I don’t understand, yet you begrudge those who told you that you did not have the right to forge your path. You are a walking contradiction afraid to look at yourself. So lonely. It is always somebody else’s fault for the way you feel and never your own.”
Then even angrier she shouted, “No one is going to rescue you from the choices you make! No one is going to come to your house and force you to get out of that recliner. No one is going to force you to live your best life. No one is going to come up to you and apologize to you for what you’ve been through, because everybody else goes through their own shit. It is not our responsibility to make you feel worthy or smart or force you to focus on your own happiness, that’s your job! All the spouting off, all the anger, all the judgment, all the bias and the contempt for others is just murdering your soul. You can’t even see how unattractive it makes you.”
She walked away and I gathered my tablet and things and I do too. Kind of wanted to cry!