EXACERBATION

There is a sick sense of pleasure some people find in power. This is nothing new. This isn’t a startling revelation. We have all seen it. We have all experienced it. From the teacher that grins as they call a student to carpet to a boss that seems to be just managing to hide their smile as they fire an employee there is something sick about the pleasure one gets from emotionally damaging others. Sure, there are kids that need to be shamed, and there are employees that deserve to be fired. To think that everyone is a victim is silly. That’s never the case. Things aren’t ever as simple as black and white. Some people get the kick in the junk they need or deserve. Most get the kick that others want them to have.

That’s where the problems arise.

The sick pleasure in being a human wrecking ball in another’s life.

I mean, is there anything more hurtful professionally than being first fired, then escorted off as if you are a threat? Unable to even gather your things or sign out of your accounts? And again, some people need to be fired. They aren’t what the place needs and they have to be let go. It happens. Not everyone is a good fit for everything. But treating people as if they are criminals, or threats doesn’t do anything but create a situation where you may get exactly what you are portraying. Shame someone, hurt them deeply enough, and they’ll act like the cornered animal they may feel like they are. Push them too far and you’ll create a situation for reprisal.

Take away someone’s basic humanity and watch as they show you how much of a beast they can be.

But we miss all of that.

We get caught up in the blood of the moment, the scent of the kill, and we can’t help ourselves as we push, push, and push a little further, filling in some hole in ourselves with the blood of someone else. We don’t care about the damage we do to someone else because we’re damaged ourselves, even if we act as if we aren’t, and any chance we can get to push someone down, we will. Only though if it’s ‘warranted’. We’re not bullies. No. We’re just…fair. We’re just. We’re professional.

Nonsense.

If there is something lacking in this world it’s humanity.

It’s the basic willingness to see that each of us is human and as such we deserve the same respect across the board. Sure, deep respect, professional and personal respect have to be earned, but there is human respect that should come naturally to us when we see one another. It’s that basic respect that should always guide our hands. Sure, we’ll screw up, that’s what we humans do best, but if we aren’t willing or able to see each other and stop and say – what damage am I doing here – before you do something to someone then there’s the problem.

It’s you.

Sure, you can play the hero in your story, you can think you are some grand avenger, that you are doling out what people merely deserve, and you can rest easy in that. But people see you for who you are and the more you poke that bear, well, one day it will bite you.

One day it may devour you.

We have so many problems in this country, in our society that it seems foolhardy to make things worse needlessly. Again, I get why it happens, the thrill of the moment that gets you caught up in its web. The ability to hurt someone is something we all have, we can all swing around and crash into other lives and take a nasty measure of happiness from their sorrow. That’s not living.

That’s not life.

That’s anti-life.

It’s sadism.

And the more times we treat others like so much excrement the more damage it does to us, to the parts of us we can’t see but which are there. The more damage it does to the heart of us.

Life isn’t always great.

It’s not always perfect.

Crummy stuff has to be done.

People must be fired.

Broken up with.

Put in their place.

But there’s no such thing as ‘brutal honesty’. There’s just brutality and honesty.

Never think you can mix the two and not have an explosive cocktail.

Never act as if you are just ‘telling it how it is’ when you are being nasty.

You can tell someone the truth, can be honest, without bringing cruelty or brutality into things.

That’s being human.

That’s being decent.

Maybe try that.

Default to that.

Or don’t.

See what happens.

It’s not going to be pretty.

If we keep wiring people to be bombs then friend, you’re gonna have a lot of explosions.

 

…c…

Author: Chris Ringler

Writer, blogger, reviewer, artist, arts and cultural events coordinator, and semi-professional weirdo. Author of a heap of books from horror to fairy tale to kid's.

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