Our society is filled with Irrelevant People
I can’t seem to get through one day without coming across an article that makes my stomach turn. Adolescents that commit suicide due to bullying, a homeless man that is stabbed and left on the sidewalk while more than 20 people pass him and do nothing, people that are showed no humanity or empathy without the media’s assistance.
We have all read articles about the horrendous things people do to each other on a daily basis, we all think,
“I would never do that”
But don’t we? Don’t we all lack empathy and drive to give a damn about anyone other than ourselves?
- Have you ever driven down the freeway and wouldn’t let someone in your lane? Have you double parked in a busy parking lot because you just don’t want to get a door ding?
- Have you ever passed a homeless person and didn’t so much as make eye contact?
- What about immigrants? Do you honestly believe that people will leave their country, hop the border illegally with hardly any possessions, leaving most of their family behind just to steal your tax dollars? Do you care that most undocumented immigrants are only seeking a stable life for their families?
- Have you ever been so jealous of another person that you tried to diminish their self-worth?
- Have you ever given up your seat for an elderly person?
- Have you ever offered to do something nice for a veteran, other than just simply stating, “thank you for your service.”
- Have you considered that your waitress might be having a terrible night and your measly tip for what you considered to be “mediocre service” was all that she could offer because she might have mid-terms and a baby at home, running off of 4 hours sleep.
We, as adults have a mentality of, “well at least it isn’t me.” We sit behind our computers and spit negativity at each other and pass judgments on how others live their lives. Why do we do this? Because, everyone other than ourselves and the people closest to us are irrelevant. Why do adolescents have such a difficult time with bullying and where do bullies learn this behavior from?
I’m not a psychologist but it seems pretty evident to me. We bully each other as adults. When your son or daughter is in the car with you and you cut someone off on the freeway. Or when you’re screaming at the poor woman on the other end of the line at AT&T because your precious television isn’t working properly. You have just taught your child, “that person doesn’t matter.”
Most parents spend a great deal of time telling their children how smart they are or how talented they are. How they are special and loved. Once these children reach adolescence, it’s a harsh reality check that you don’t matter as much as you thought you did. People are harsh and cruel to each other, much like those bullies in school.
How do we combat this lack of empathy and worth of the people around us that we don’t know?
We become aware. We think outside of the box. We display empathy and make eye contact with people we don’t know. We listen to people and their stories.
I challenge you to not just teach your children that THEY are important, smart, special and loved but that ALL children have these qualities. This is how I believe, we will reach greater heights as a society.