Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Be Excellent To Each Other

Disclaimer: Allusions to strong language and a plea not to use certain terms.

When I first heard the c-word for a woman, I was relatively unphased. I had escaped the previous 20 years or so not knowing of its existence and, therefore, was unaware of the weight it carried. Eventually, that changed. I came to realize how harsh and unkind it really was and it was added to the list of words the truly shock and offend me when I hear it, no matter the context.

And now, I can't seem to escape it. Somehow, certain people I follow online seem to toss that word around like it means nothing, among other random occurrences. While I usually don't care if someone needs to vent about a co-worker or roommate, hearing them referred to as such a cruel term makes my heart hurt. Similarly, it kills me a little inside when I hear females calling each other "whore" or worse, a la Mean Girls.

Fortunately, I have never been called any of those things, at least not to my face. Although, if anyone ever did call me a "ho", you can bet this would happen with lightning speed: How Not To Address a Lady and most of the time I hear things like this, I want to shout "Stop it! Are they really a ____? No, so be nice!"

Unfortunately, I am not innocent of using less heavy terms but with similar sentiment. I don't just throw it around in my everyday parlance, but I have been know to refer to someone else as a female dog, usually in extreme jest. But even in jest and to a party who knows without a doubt I don't really think that of them, is it really necessary?

No. It is not.

Maybe it's the pseudo-Southern girl in me, but I really do strive to be nice to everyone, sometimes to a fault. I don't like everyone I meet, not by a long shot, but I'm at least nice to them. I'm even nice to my neighbor who launches into a tirade about something new every time we see each other.

So why would I call my friends unkind terms? Why should anyone?

I really wish we wouldn't, and I hereby resolve to do a better job and live by this standard:

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle. ~Plato

Life is hard enough without us being mean to each other all the time. No one is perfect, but I'm willing to bet that most of us are actually trying to be a good person and do good things, and we shouldn't discount that.

So, what do you think? Are you with me?