Often I find myself getting so frustrated at things that I want to reach out and bitchslap some people. I guess it’s a pet peeve of mine to some extent, but it touches on a larger subject.
My mother always said, when I was growing up, “Treat others as you would like them to treat you” – and as far as I know – most people have at least heard that phrase sometime in their lives from someone with some wisdom and experience behind them. So that begs the question – why don’t people bloody listen?
I lead a relatively dull life by comparison to some, perhaps, and I spend a great deal of time interacting with people online. Living in a very small town where one could count the gay people on your two hands and have fingers to spare, means that my social life has pretty much been relying on those people I meet on the internet.
Now I’m not going to go into the whole dis-functionality of that last statement – I know that’s not an ideal way to form relationships with people, but sometimes ones circumstances don’t leave you with much choice. But let’s at least be clear on this – it is well known that people on the internet are fickle, right?
However – going back to my original statement, I wonder if people wish to be treated the way they treat others online. Imagine, if you will, yourself in my shoes. I post a lot of pictures online, and videos. People like them. They drool over them, fawn over them, and often do unmentionable and unconscionable thing to their private parts over them. They are nothing more than visual stimulation. I get that – I enjoy porn too.
But in a world where sex has become easy to find – the internet is a wonderful tool for this – have we forgotten other life skills? How often do I run into someone online who wants to “chat” and then only wants to actually have a wonderful fantasy session with me and then slips back into the dark reaches of the web, never to be seen or heard from again?
We appear to have lost the ability to care, and to treat others with kindness and understanding, and sometimes in our real lives, we have forgotten how to be a good friend. Now the gay condition dictates that we think with our genitals, and want to impregnate anything we can as often as we can – but there is so much more to life.
Should we not be constantly building relationships with people – supporting one another – and not just in times of crisis? Life is too short to not indulge in the richness that makes up people.
While this all seems somewhat random – my point is this. I make effort every day to get to know people better – the people I interact with – my ‘friends’ – be they in real life or online. (And yes, people one only knows online CAN indeed be friends – good friends). But I notice so many people do not take the time to reach out and understand and know others. Sometimes, they even ignore those people who might be a rock of support and caring in a time of need when they are not in crisis.
Friendship – true friendship – means being a friend constantly and consistently – in good times and bad times – its taking the time to listen to their rants, their gushes, their stories about their day – and not because you have nothing better to do – rather because you care about the friendship, the relationship and them enough to give one thing we all ultimately don’t have enough of on this planet: time.
We all want to feel valued. We all want to feel loved. We all want to be accepted. We all want people to genuinely care about us and our lives and what happens to us. So treat those you meet as you would like to be treated. After all, you never know when engaging in conversation with an acquaintance could mean the start of a life-long friendship or more. And showing kindness to someone could actually save their life that day. Treat others as you would like to be treated, give of your time and of yourself – even if it’s just a little every day – because you can have a good or bad impact on someone else’s day by doing so. Wouldn’t you want someone to make you feel good? Wouldn’t you like someone to make you feel good? Sometimes, a little effort goes a long way.