“Jerks” seem to be coming out of the woodwork lately. I’ve lost count of all the men who have been busted for sexually harassing women, and we all know there are many more who have not been called to account. Then we have those who condemn others for their race, religion, politics or sexual preferences. And those who feel free to use social media as a cowardly way to attack others.
Then there’s us. Getting angry at people who don’t deserve it, and even sometimes people who do. Feeling free to criticize others for choices they’ve made without understanding why. Feeling superior to someone who started their personal fifty-yard-dash through life ten seconds after we did. Feeling smarter than someone who is not a native speaker of our language. (I particularly pay attention to that one, since I’m always aware I only speak one language and that person speaks at least two.)
Sometimes my jerk meter goes crazy, and sadly sometimes it goes crazy when it’s pointing at me.
John Pavlovitz is a favorite blogger of mine, and his recent post, Life is short. People are hurting. Don’t be a jerk. resonated with me. I encourage you to read the entire blog, in fact please read it and then sign up to get his others, too. You won’t be sorry. But these words are at the heart of his message:
John makes me wonder if we talk too much about love and kindness and compassion and need to lower our expectations and just don’t be a jerk. Don’t hurt people. Don’t attack people. Don’t ignore people. Don’t cause pain of any kind to anyone. It’s that simple, isn’t it?
I can’t say it any better than John: