There has been a lot of heated discussion on the Cricut messageboard in the last few days because of the new Cricut Circle membership club. I for one was a little annoyed that I wasn't in the first round of invitees because of the way it was promoted (Provocraft made it seem as if many of us were being excluded). But I wasn't angry with any fellow messageboard members because of it. However, I was dismayed to read a lot of name calling and general disrespect of others.
I'm not perfect (as any of my children would gladly testify), but I would also never intentionally say something hurtful to anyone else just because our opinions happened to differ. I've seen people verbally attacked because they were upset at not being invited to join the club, and others have had their choice to join ridiculed. For the most part, though, what I saw were people voicing their varying opinions in a respectful way.
I am greatly distressed at those people who feel it is their personal responsibility to correct the behavior of everyone else. People complain about others who complain, which I find to be utter nonsense. I'm sure I don't need to explain why that's so wrong. If I'm on a messageboard and don't like what I see, I move on to something else. If someone mentions they spent money on something I wouldn't buy, or spent more money than I think something is worth, or they buy something expensive even though a few days prior they were complaining about their personal finances, I don't feel it is my responsibility to make judgments about their personal choices.
What has really disturbed me the most, though, are those self-righteous people who, in a very judgmental way, chastise others who are complaining about minor things because "there are bigger problems going on in the world". Yes, I realize people are dying, people are fighting cancer, people are facing unemployment and foreclosure on their homes, and the world generally sucks sometimes. We all have hardships from time to time. Not everyone who is facing difficulties has the desire to inform the world of those problems. It doesn't mean we aren't dealing with trials and tribulations of our own. Sometimes when life gets to be a little too problematic we choose to deal with it by focusing on something that isn't as serious. It doesn't mean we are trivializing anyone's problems, especially our own. We just need an outlet for our stress and anxiety.
I remember when I was in the ICU waiting room while my sister was hospitalized and not expected to live. She was only 42 years old and had suffered complications after a relatively-minor surgery. The rest of the world kept going. I couldn't comprehend that other people were laughing and enjoying themselves while my world was falling apart. But I didn't lash out at them.
Seven years later, I was sitting in the same ICU waiting room after my mother had suffered a brain hemmorhage. Again, I watched as other people laughed and enjoyed light-hearted conversations. It's surreal to watch the world go by when yours feels as if it's crashing down around you. My mother died two weeks later, and I was devastated. It was difficult to watch the rest of the world go on as if nothing tragic had happened, but I didn't climb a clock tower with an automatic weapon. I understood that with six billion people on the planet, there are six billion different life experiences. If someone is having a good time and I don't feel like having fun at that moment, I step away. Likewise, if someone is complaining about something that I think is trivial at that particular moment, I don't reprimand them--I distance myself from the situation if possible.
The world will never be an easy place in which to live. Evil exists. People can be unkind. Sickness and death will never go away. Even innocent children suffer. You and I might disagree in a most profound way. But let's respect each other and try our best not to make life more difficult than it has to be.