I was just reading a news story about finding an appropriate way to posthumously honor former DC Mayor Marion Barry. I knew that he was a deeply flawed political figure, known as the “Mayor for life,” but I was still saddened after reading all of the negative comments about him. I felt the urgent need to post a positive comment about him, though he was never my Mayor.
After reading more about him, I understood more about where he came from, his poverty stricken childhood, and about what may have led to his drug use and some of his bad choices. I also read about how he was a well educated man, and a civil rights leader, becoming the first such leader to become Mayor of such a major city in America. I read about his legacy and accomplishments, which most of us will never attain.
I was deeply moved by two of his quotes where he described having to drink at a separate water fountain as a child due to segregation, and about how he was just trying to get through “the storms of life.”
The storms of life definitely do not spare anyone, I know that just as well as anyone. That is why I am always so shocked and upset after I read callous online comments. When did it become okay for us to tear each other apart from the comfort of our own homes? When did it become okay for us to become inhumane couch critics?
I don’t know when I read my first cruel online comment, but I do know that I have stopped reading most of them. I do know that I am only human, and have been tempted by the apple of anger to post one myself, especially to defend those unable to defend themselves, but I stop myself from commenting most of the time.
This is because it is the never-ending story of hate, lies, anger, discriminatory remarks, and fear. Once in awhile you may read a brilliant, hilarious, or heart-warming comment that sucks you back into the whole rigmarole, but a large percentage of it seems to be negative. (There are a few exceptions to this such as; a positive support group, a page to help cure diseases, etc)
Oh that Caitlyn Jenner is no hero, or that President Obama is the cause of all the evil in the world, or that Chris Christie eats too many Jersey subs. It never ends…
But all of these people are human. They are living their lives, and doing their best to survive the storms of life. I may not agree with every opinion, or post I see, but I’m trying hard to become a member of Online Commenter’s Anonymous.* I’m trying hard to read the articles & not the comments. To see the real story, the big picture, the fragility of the human race.
That fragility is what makes us human. That ability to make mistakes, and learn and grow from them makes us who we are, We have all suffered, we have all experienced failure and regret, and all of us must learn to exercise a little more compassion, and A LOT less judgment.
I’m also trying to read more positive, uplifting pieces, blog posts, etc. These stories remind us that no one is immune to tragedy, heartache or pain. We are all facing something. We have all walked through fire. We must all help each other through.
I keep up with the news because I know how important it is. I keep up with politics because I know how much it affects my life. But I will not keep up with reading online comments, unless it’s about fluffy bunny rabbits…..everybody loves fluffy bunny rabbits….oh, except for user4hate who just commented “not the fat ones.”
- my blog gives me special commenting privileges, and a respite from regular online commenting on other’s posts 😉
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