Monthly Archives: September 2012
You know, life would be wonderful if we could all dance through the tulips with not a care in the world but that is only in a dream I guess, because man oh man- I ran into a a couple of women that personified what a “mean girl” stood for. Sigh… I think I need to go there….
Last week, in the midst of what was a wonderful conference that should have been a meeting of the minds all the way around, something became obvious to anyone who was paying attention; we had mean girls within our midst. How did I know this? They sat apart from the group, made snide remarks about anything good that did not come from their lips and whispered amongst themselves every chance they got. Seriously though? It felt like we were back in high school and these were people in their mid- forties. The “kryptonite “for mean girls is to just completely ignore their ill- disguised attempts at wanting the spotlight glaring in their direction at all times because when you do, watch the sulking commence.
I was seriously in awe that grown women were still capable of these kinds of self- defeating behaviors and it has led me over the years to be very wary of people who live in “I ” land. You them well; “I” did this, and “I” made it happen… you get the point. The minute someone ruffles their feathers, they pout, pick up their toys and go home. Not content to leave well enough alone however, they then start making disparaging remarks about the thing they walked away from not caring to realize that it makes THEM look crazy.
I had just about had my fill of mean people, when I ran into a group of women I had never met before at a birthday celebration who epitomized love , kindness, warmth and laughter all afternoon long. By the time I left their presence, my spirit was rejuvenated that we truly are not ALL this way because we shared everything as if we had been life long friends. It takes so much more energy to be mean and it really messes with your chi- not to mention your health. Positive people live longer and are embraced more often with love and support from those around them. So the next time you feel the need to be a mean girl, please understand that the long term repercussions of said behaviors, far outweigh the short term euphoria you get from being nasty.
It has been a while since I posted and while there were many things to write about, time just slipped away from me somehow… until I saw something that made me cringe.
On my way to a graduation a few days ago, I heard this commotion not far from where I parked and when I looked up, what I saw all at once horrified and fascinated me. A woman and three young ones were walking towards a main artery and one of the little boys, ( no more than five) accidentally dropped a steaming cup of coffee on the pavement. As he stood in fear mixed with sadness that his cup of java was evaporating before his eyes, his mother became enraged and began to scream a littany of expletives that would make a grown person blush. She accused him of deliberately dropping her good cup of coffee and he was alaways “messing” up everything he touched or said. She went further to say he would not ever be any good to anyone and she ought to just knock his head off on principle alone. Please keep in mind, that I am translating what she crudely said on that sidewalk to this little child who I was certain, had heard this many times before in his short life span.
He was careful not to walk too close to her in case she swung at him and it was all I could do not to pick him up and walk him away to safety. What I did do ,was increase my gait until I was parrallel to them and kept pace until she realized through her visceral rant, another adult was there witnessing it all. It was so easy to sit in judgement of her in that moment; and while I knew with every fiber of my being she was wrong on a myriad of levels, these things also became a focus as I thought through that scenario all day long:
- Was that the only thing they would have to eat or drink all day? Did she spend her last dime trying to see just what they could all have to keep them feeling a little full that they could share? Not a great meal choice, I know but desperation has no clarity attached to it.
- What else was that mother facing? It just seemed so irrational to behave that way over a simple cup of coffee. Were her fears manifesting themselves through her anger at this innocent child who was an easier target than the other demons she may have been dealing with?
- What is that baby internalizing as a result of being repeatedly abused like that and what happens when he enters a classroom with the knowledge that failure means anger? How does that play out among his peers and teachers?
- Could I, Should I, have done something to help other than have her see that I was watching her every move?
- How many more families are struggling like this just to survive and why has it become so easy for us to pass judgement?
I do not claim to know the answers to any of these questions but I did what I could right in that moment; I prayed. Prayed for that little child, his mother and others who may be facing all kinds of struggles and vowed to help whomever I could, wherever I could. That little face will haunt me for a long time to come.