Today my post may turn out to be more of a rant. Strangely, sadly a rant about a situation very close to me. My own son. How did I raise a child who is so insensitive; mean-spirited even? It doesn’t seem possible. All of my life I have lived in fear of hurting someone’s feelings. I had to learn as an adult that sometimes it is okay to say what you think. Still I try to say things in such a way as to not hurt people. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve caused my fair share of hurt feelings. I am no saint, but still if you knew me, you would never believe how my kid could be turning out the way that he is.
I cannot for the life of me, understand why people put all of their business on Facebook. Not every thought you have is worth saying out loud, much less putting on the world wide web for everyone you know to see. Suffice it to say that my son has made a rather insensitive comment in a decline to an event and I am appalled that he won’t delete it. When I first asked him about it he said “It’s the truth.” Well needless to say that prompted a conversation wherein I had to explain that the “truth” is subjective. His comment was only his opinion and quite frankly an opinion that was hurtful and insensitive. I let it go because he was at a friend’s house and I had called him on the phone to ask him to delete the comment. Later I texted him and asked him to “please” delete the comment with a promise of a conversation later about why if he wanted. The comment remained. Today, I picked him up from his friend’s house and admittedly I became angry when he still refused to delete it. So I tried again later, and he is being quite obstinate about it. He is 18 ( by just a few weeks) and seems to feel that I can no longer tell him what to do. It is an interesting conundrum.
I threatened to take away his electronics and cell phone (I pay for it all), and he asked if I was done “bullying” him. To be fair, I knew that’s what I was doing, so it did not much bother me when he called me on it. I let him know that I was a much bigger bully than him. That we are all capable of being mean and nasty and that it was a choice that we each make every day. I admit here that this is not how I wanted to handle it, but he has not responded to pleading or reasoning. My arsenal is getting thin.
When he posted the comment, which I am sure hurt a lot of people’s feelings, I was upset that he could be so thoughtless and insensitive. Still I thought it to be excusable based on his age and lacking experience, but his refusal to fix his mistake, or even admit that he has made one just makes his comment mean. I struggle to understand what gain he could have from directing his anger at this group of people in this way.
So now, I am sad to think that this is a child that I raised and begs the question of just what is wrong with this generation and how do we fix it? We cannot continue treating each other so badly. It simply will not do. What has happened to the world that so many people think that it is okay to just slam someone in a public forum with no regard for how it may affect others or themselves?
Yes, we all get angry. Yes, we all say things we shouldn’t. And yes, we all cross the line sometimes, but when we do it privately, we have to make amends with the one person that we hurt. When we do it publicly, we are judged, and we run the risk of hurting a whole lot of people, some of whom we did not realize we would hurt. So keep your opinions to yourself sometimes. Exercise good judgement, even when you are angry. If you are angry with me, then say it in person or send me a private message. We might be able to work it out, but if we start a public war, there may be too much damage done.
Be good to each other!