Monkey see, monkey do :: Meanness.

Well… when the fudge did it become acceptable to be so MEAN in life?

Lately there have been so many different things going on – from blogging world antics to school gate dramas – that just classify as mean.

It’s a strange word to hear an adult use that isn’t it? It’s one of those things that you assume is limited to childhood – mean spirited and intentional unkindness… but it’s not. Adults are, for lack of a better word, mean. They are mean to each other, mean to themselves too. Adults are mean.

Which really when you think about it, monkey see, monkey do: is it any wonder our children are mean?

I try really hard to instil in the children that above all else they need to be kind – god knows I’ve failed at this so many times. A bitchy comment worthy of Regina George has slipped out, a like on a mean facebook comment, a subtle agreement on something that is just plain mean and not saying anything about how mean or unkind it is. It’s something that I think if we’re honest, we’ve all done. Inadvertently, but it’s still not ok. What I really don’t want is for my children to grow up and think that it’s ok to hurt other people’s feeling or disregard them.

I know people joke now that the world is too sensitive, too PC and it is – it is to a degree but it doesn’t mean that we should disregard kindness totally or accept when something isn’t right. That being said, do we not accept it at our own peril? I mean, in this modern world, are we doing our children a disadvantage to tell them to never allow injustice, never allow anyone to be picked on? If you are an adult and you see Steve in the office picking on Janet, do you step in and say something if Steve is your boss? What if he makes your job so unbearable that you end up having to leave, Steve wasn’t being a dickhead to you… but then, if Steve is allowed to continue, will he turn on you eventually as all bullies do?

It’s hard isn’t it? Are we setting our kids up to fail because, even the nicest of adults, are mean sometimes – so is it better to teach them to mind their own business and only stand up when they need to for themselves? I hate the thought of that but… is that what we should do? I used to be friend’s with someone who would, as he saw it, stand up for injustice – but he ended up coming across as the bully, the know it all, because it was every little thing, muscling in on other’s perceived injustice. I don’t want children to grow up to be that person, I don’t want them to become the thing that they are trying to stop… but it’s all about perception isn’t it?

I’m not really sure where I’m going with this – I guess I just wanted to get it out. Like a bit of a mind dump on a Friday afternoon (that’s when I wrote it – see how organised I am!?) because god knows I don’t have other things to be doing! I just… yeah. Is it better to stand up for yourself, always try to be kind but ignore the injustice around you? Or is it better to always fight against injustice, to stand up for everyone and be kind to all?

22 Comments

  1. October 12, 2017 / 12:05 pm

    Love a mind dump! I must admit I fell into a trap a couple of weeks ago of thinking negatively about things & I did slip into being not as kind about someone that I should have. I’m still thinking about it now as I always though I would never do that & always encouraged the kids to be kind. I hope I do come across as someone approachable and with a kind heart but there’s no harm in a reminder.

    • Harriet October 13, 2017 / 11:22 am

      Ahh we all do it Helen don’t we? It can’t be helped x

  2. October 11, 2017 / 4:54 pm

    Oh goodness I couldn’t agree with you more. I work in an environment dealing with complaints. The amount of drama at school gates, or on Facebook is unreal. It’s all “he said, she said” stuff, but from adults that should know better. The spite, hate and vicious disgusting words used would make you blush. I don’t know when it all went like this either 🙁

    • Harriet October 13, 2017 / 11:23 am

      Argh so frustrating – can’t we all just get along and just think to ourselves, “I’m not a fan of that person but whatever”.

  3. October 10, 2017 / 11:19 am

    I think while we all want to be kind all the time meanness is just a part of everyday life. I’ve been trying to be less judgemental and be kinder in that way x

    • Harriet October 13, 2017 / 11:26 am

      I couldn’t agree more!

  4. October 10, 2017 / 5:00 am

    Unfortunately there are a lot of mean people out there. I always try and ignore what I see and try to be as lovely and nice as I can! 🙂

  5. October 9, 2017 / 10:58 pm

    Sadly this is all true….in America,the top 2% use our media to keep the middle class at each other’s throats as they continue to erode our lives from basic kindness and well being. Instead of helping our neighbors,we are being programmed to fear them…just so we don’t see what they are doing to further ruin our nation.

    • Harriet October 13, 2017 / 11:27 am

      Thanks for your comment Patrick.

  6. October 9, 2017 / 10:05 pm

    I’m definitely someone with the attitude of treating others as you would like to be treated. I just don’t understand why some people have to be so mean.

  7. October 9, 2017 / 9:57 pm

    I totally relate to this at the moment. I’m not perfect by any means, but I was brought up to believe that if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing, and so that’s how I live my life. I’ve been so unsettled since BML last weekend and again by the events this week with the bot-gate, it’s just made me feel really insecure in a world filled with meanness. I’m sorry you are feeling this way too, sometimes I think living inside a bubble is the only way to stay sane! xxx

    • Harriet October 13, 2017 / 11:40 am

      Thanks Laura, sending you all the lovely x

  8. October 9, 2017 / 9:53 pm

    I see what you mean. Being ‘mean’ is not unique to children. Unfortunately, as Adults, we can too portray similar behaviours to children. I do agree that we need to teach children to be kind and thoughtful. However, I also believe we should up for what we believe in, within reason. It’s a bit of a grey area that.

    Great, thought provoking post.

    Lima
    X

  9. October 9, 2017 / 6:57 pm

    I totally get where you are coming from and in some situations it can be a hard one especially if you are the nervous type or scared of the person picking in someone else. I think with all things it’s about balance. Stand up for yourself and others but don’t be too heavy handed and don’t overdo it.

  10. October 9, 2017 / 3:56 pm

    I don’t get why some people can be so mean, and why in the blogging world sometimes we tare each other down rather than build each other up. It can be so sad.

    • Harriet October 13, 2017 / 11:45 am

      I know right? It’s such a shame!

  11. October 9, 2017 / 9:34 am

    I too teach my kids that kindness matters above all else. It’s a tough one as I do think we should stand up for injustice wherever we see it – even if it doesn’t affect us. If we don’t fight for those who can’t fight for themselves who will? However, that said my son is very sensitive and shy. Standing up for himself is hard let alone others. I think we’ve just got to teach them to judge each individual situation and do what they think is best. I think it’s working as when his dad called me a bad word last night he said ‘daddy, don’t call mammy that. That’s a mean thing to say.’ Haha, in your face daddy.

    • Harriet October 13, 2017 / 11:45 am

      Haha take that Daddy!! x

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