The Snarky Remark Diet

26/   October, 2020

American discourse is being diminished to snarky unkind exchanges. The exchanges that are fired back and forth are like bullets being fired into our hearts. Our hearts are not meant to endure such uncompassionate verbiage. Social Media has served up a large portion of unkind snarky sarcastic comments. We have become accustomed to live on a diet of snarky responses. 

Now, with the opposing political views, the mean-spirited jokes targeted at what or who we disagree with is the norm. Each response is justified by the next which are all based on the injustice we witnessed, heard or received. I fear we have hardened our hearts, compromised our integrity by firing back a comment that equals the initial injustice we experienced. The danger is, we can become disconnected. Numb. I did.

We have used humor to deal with the horrific acts of injustice. Yes, laughing is medicine for the soul. Yet, to be part of the snarky jokes requires mutual disconnection, from ourselves and the other. The disconnection is subtle which allows us to forget the other person is just like us. When we are more connected to ourselves and each other, we influence how the world connects and remains connected to goodness. We are all connected. 

It is my experience that partaking in the snarky diet of mean spiritedness feeds on itself giving it life, producing an acceptable negative communication norm.  When we are so full of disdain, we are unable feel compassion for one another. We no longer feel a tenderness for each other. We forget we are the same yet different. 

We have witnessed spectacular unpredictable accusations. Right when you think it can’t get worse, it does. The rules of engagement cross all boundaries of respect and kindness. What is required of us is to forget that the other person is just like me who needs love, has a family. And hurts, just like me. I hear the arguments that certain people do not have the capacity to feel empathy or compassion for others. I understand. Yet, does that give us a pass to be unkind or disrespectful? The anger, the outrage is far too hurtful for me to carry any longer. 

It’s time to come together. Chose a new diet, a new way of being that enables goodness and respect to be shared, modeled. Not just with those we love but with everyone. I feel, at times, I am made of Velcro, these comments can stick to me as my mind processes what I heard.  I need to remember what is being said is about them. 

I am on a new diet.  One that requires me to take a break from mean spirited jokes along with the rants and raves. I have no more room to absorb what is being said or energy to listen. I can choose to respond with kindness and compassion.  I want to hold a place for truth, integrity and respect, framed by love. 

Although I still feel sad when I see the name calling online, I am not compelled to participate by keeping the dialogue alive. When I am overwhelmed by the negativity, I hike, breathe. I am committed. I may stumble, pick up old habits but I’m going remain on my new diet; a new way of being connected despite the negative discourse. I like my new peace of mind. Want to join me?

We can’t heal the world today but we can begin with a voice of compassion, a heart of love, an act of kindness.

Mary Davis

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