Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I Don't Get It

I don't get it. I never have. What is the motivation behind petty, mean actions? Sure I understand theft, revenge, and a host of other crimes, but why does anyone do petty, mean things from which they gain nothing, aren't around to gloat over the victim's reaction, and prove nothing but their own moronic mentality?

Several people I know have had their Facebook accounts hacked and an insulting message has gone out to their friends, including young children, along with a link. The message is stupid and the link usually turns out to be a pornographic site. Vandals break out car windows; a nut job fires BB pellets from an overpass, beer cans are tossed on a church lawn, gravestones are overturned, and when we first moved to our present home we planted a thousand dollars worth of trees in the median strip only to have someone run over all those new trees with a truck, destroying them all. Graffiti is a constant, senseless destruction of property all across our country from which no one gains anything and our beautiful country becomes less beautiful.

This problem extends beyond vandalism. Just take a look at the comment trail on news stories. Those comments are riddled with hateful, mean insults. Bloggers often have to remove comments that are crude, mean-spirited, or outright obscene in their comment trails. Few writers have been spared rude, derogatory, unhelpful comments concerning their work. Honest constructive criticism is not the same thing as mean, hurtful insults.

Politics has raised the art of lies, half truths, and insults to a level that has turned off too many citizens from the political arena and destroyed trust in our government. Mean, negative campaigns often deprive citizens of the best representation and wastes millions of dollars. Time is wasted too as candidates and supporters spend their time smearing each other or refuting the other's claims instead of dealing with real issues.

Almost all countries with some form of democratic government are facing immigration problems at the present time. Instead of working out solutions to real problems such as religious freedom, employment, education, upward economic mobility, drugs, security, etc., many people resort to petty name calling, broad racial generalizations, hateful actions, and a lot of shouting that only serves to divide people and delay solutions.

It's easy to blame easy access to electronic media and its faceless nature for much of today's disregard for manners and the feelings of others, but Facebook and other social networks, comment trails, and other electronic media don't deserve all of the blame. Vandals broke into and trashed homes while the owners were away, rioters burned and looted their own neighborhoods, politicians lied about their opponents, and punks shot up traffic signs long before Blackberries, iphones, and computers made relationships impersonal. Today's electronic gizmos merely make being obnoxious easier.

We can blame society, poor parenting, lack of religious training, too much idle time, unsupervised computer access, or even some kind of genetic defect for the insane urge some people seem to have to hurt or destroy. There are probably mental or emotional reasons why some people have an urge to hurt, destroy, or deface. They may all be valid causes. I don't know. I just know I don't get it.


Robin said...

I find that some people just don't have that right or wrong switch in them. It's all about me who do these things that hurt other people.

robinribbit at yahoo dot com

Kelsi Rose said...

Most people start off life with some form of conscience, that as members of the Church of Jesuse Christ of Latter-day Saints know is the light of Christ. What happens to that light is largely a result of how we are raised. Unfortunately, we live in a very selfish society that encourages us to, "get what we want, no matter the cost." This attitude is not condussive to keeping your conscience in tune and yourself morally grounded.

On top of that, morals today are thought of as situational, instead of solid black and white, like they really are. When children aren't taught that there is a true moral center, they rely on others to make that choice for them. I also think that not have a solid moral foundation is one of the causes of so many not taking responsibility for their own actions.

violettes said...

I think the surface reasons for the actions are as varied as the perpetrators; however, when people allow their "natural man" to control their actions Satan can wreak havoc. You certainly can't blame modern technology...I'm pretty sure Cain, Laman, Gadianton, Kishkumen, Genghis Khan, Chairman Mao, Hitler, and Pol Pot didn't have blackberries or facebook accounts!!

violettes said...

One more thing...for every hateful action you can find beautiful, tender, loving moments. Those are the divine moments in our lives and world that will get us through the horrid. I love reading about your love and devotion to your sister in her time of extreme need; it builds me and puts more drops in all our buckets!