Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Ugliness

Yesterday, I went to breakfast with Hubby at a buffet
restaurant. We were enjoying our late morning breakfast, chatting about the
latest developments in the political realm when the table attendant, a middle
aged man, began to clear the table behind us. He was working quickly, as he had
all morning, because being Valentine’s Day, it was fairly busy in the
restaurant.

A young woman was slowly walking up between the aisle and as the man stood and
was turning with his burden of dirty dishes, he bumped this girl, but not hard,
and he immediately apologized. She stood there, looking him up and down with
raised eyebrows and a “you are nothing but lowly scum, how dare you”
look on her face and then grimaced and began to shake her head in disbelief before
she continued on her way to the drink counter. The man, head down with
shoulders hunched over his dishes was obviously turning red under his dark
skin.

A little later in the morning, my daughter called me to wish me a Happy
Valentine’s day. Then she launched into telling me about a fellow female
student who had witnessed her and another student cleaning the training room
for the past two hours, never offering to help or deviating from her
conversation. That didn’t bother my daughter, since she knew the work needed to
be done. After the cleaning was done, and the training room prepped for the
next day, this fellow female student came up to the group my daughter was
talking to, looked directly at her and then turned to talk to the males who
were standing there. She made a few comments about how *some* people shouldn’t
be standing around talking, while there was work to do, glancing in my
daughters direction. Knowing that this girl had watched my daughter working for
the last two hours, my daughter piped up, even though she knew she was being
actively ignored, and mentioned that she had completed her tasks for the day
and was just getting ready to leave for work. The girl turned and looked my
daughter up and down and sneered, “Work… huh… did you hear that?
*Some* of us have to go to work and will be shirking our duties here.”

Last week, my son was at his workplace. He’d noticed that one girl had become
the office “pick upon”.  Having never really hung out with her
before, he noticed she was at her limit and looked like she was getting ready
to cry. He invited her out for a smoke and a chat, telling her to breathe and
to ignore the stupidity and ugliness of the other office girls. She was
starting to calm down and on her way back into the office, she tripped on the steps
and fell down about 10 of them. The same girls who had been picking on her
began to point and laugh, not one of them getting up to help her. She ended up
breaking her nose and fracturing her wrist and needing stitches. My son said it
sickened him to see the girls behave like that and he made sure he told them
how inappropriate their behavior was.

I hate this kind of ugliness. I can’t express it to you enough how this kind of
behavior turns my stomach and how it is the quickest way for me to lose all respect
for the person displaying it or others who vicariously support it. Do people NOT
realize how their derision affects others? Do people just not understand that
the ugliness they spew into the world has the same ripple-effect that
forgiveness and a smile can have? So what if the man bumped the woman, she
could have smiled to let him know it was ok. So what if my daughter has to work
to go to college, it’s not like she hadn’t put in her time cleaning the
training room. Why target someone to make their life miserable, attacking and
ridiculing them until they cry? What does this ultimately achieve? Is it that
the person on the attack needs to behave this way to cover some kind of
insecurities *they* have? Is it a sick perversion that they actually FEEL BETTER
by dragging down someone else? Do they have to soothe their ego by in some way
attempting to elevate themselves above others to feel as though they have a
purpose? Does their blazing self righteousness make them feel more important or
triumphant? Triumphant in what way, and is it truly a triumph if you level
another person?  And the people who follow this kind of person, like the
guys who laughed when the fellow student who felt the need to make my daughter
feel less because she had to work, or the office workers who all joined
together to make their coworker feel bad and then laughed at her misfortune,
what does it say about those people?  Are these people proud of the fact
that they are in a group that is denigrating and demeaning another person? Are
they agreeing with the most aggressively ugly person because they are afraid of
not being accepted, or that they may become the next target, or are they just
as ugly as the ringleader?

I’m not so naive to believe the world will be filled with kind and civil people
who take the time to think before they speak about how their words could affect
another. That a smile and a polite word or maybe even a drop of understanding
for another person’s situation might go much farther than a cutting word. That
sometimes it’s ok not to recognize a slight with ugliness that will just perpetrate
more ugliness and instead learn to let it go. That others will not follow in
the footsteps of tyrants and will try to let the people they love know that
they don’t have to be vicious and condemning to be loved.  No, I’m not
that naive, but I can certainly hope that eventually it will be, and that I can
certainly do my part to try to spread such behavior.

So, to the girl in the restaurant that was ugly to the table attendant, thank
you. You’ve given me a vivid reminder of how not to behave.  To my son who
extended kindness to a stranger and support when she was down, I LOVE YOU and
I’m proud to know you and call you my son. And to my daughter who is working so
hard to get her education, don’t let the pettiness of others make you feel like
you are less. (Remember, usually they do this out of insecurity) You are an
awesome young woman who has an excellent grip on the important things in life.
You are loved, to the MOON and BACK!!

Author:

I believe you reap what you sow. It's not a Karma thing, it's that I believe you make your own reality whether good or bad. Thus, my favorite saying is, "Say what you mean and mean what you say."

Well, Sharon, if you wanna know what I think....

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