Avoiding the Internet…

Some days, I avoid the internet. Major holidays, election days, presidential debate nights, and pretty much any major sporting event. Hell, after the first few responses to a thoughtful Internet meme, I have to stop paying attention. The boo birds come out with a vengeance. People for whom disagreement isn’t sufficient. They need to take their disagreement to the logical extreme. They begin ridiculing those they don’t agree with. People start sniping each other over their beliefs. Maybe I getting old..but I just can’t stomach it anymore.

You have all seen it. Stories, pictures, or comments that exist solely to belittle others. Every few weeks, there is fertile new ground for this behavior. Christmas is over-commercialized, disingenuous, overly religious and annoying. People who love it must be crazy. Easter is another hallmark holiday or a celebration of a delusional group of religious bigots. You may have heard that it was originally a pagan ritual taken over by the Church to help placate conquered/converted people. The 4th of July is jingoistic and patriotic nonsense. It should be renamed as a celebration of American imperialism. Columbus Day is a celebration of Europeans bringing death and disease to the native peoples of the Americas. Thanksgiving is a celebration of the American conquest of the native Americans and should be celebrated by giving back what was stolen by our ancestors. Valentine’s day is yet another Hallmark holiday. It doesn’t have anything to do with love and celebrating it is stupid. We should love our partners daily. Hell, Black History Month is never more than a moment or two old before I hear someone whine about White History Month.

Why does it bother some of you that other people are celebrating or are happy? What does my enjoyment of Easter have to do with you? What happened to people treating each other with a little respect? I’m growing tired of the constant need to belittle others for what they do or do not believe. I’m growing tired of people who lack a shred of empathy or compassion. It must be exhausting always being right or always standing in judgment. I’m tired of hearing that atheists are morally corrupt heathens or that my religious friends are mindless drones.

The funny part is that this post could have easily just been a repost of my blog about bullying from a while ago. It is essentially the same topic. Too many people use the bully pulpit of the Internet to ridicule others. Those words matter. They could matter to people you didn’t expect. It could be a friend you’ve talked to and “loved” for months who feels offended after you write a post telling the world why religious people are small minded bigots. It could be the person with whom you bonded who is hurt after you spend a few too many words ridiculing anyone that enjoys Valentine’s Day. You never quite know who might be made to feel small because of your words.

Everyone is free to do what makes them happy I choose to write from a place that makes me happy. I choose to write from a place where people are empowered and feel stronger for having read my thoughts. . I choose to think about the people who are made to feel small. I choose to not belittle. I choose to not pick on people. If someone chooses to do the same because of this, I’m happy.