Where Negative Comments Come From

12 Jan
The following is an excerpt from a reply to a comment I posted today. In it I explained why people are so quick to attack during crises and tragedies, such as SBS, and created this post just to give this issue greater attention.

Just as we must learn to empathize with Jessica and Joshua, and the terrible forces that brought them to their knees, we must also open ourselves to the reasons why people lash out during tragedies like these.

The bottom line is FEAR. People attack those they do not, cannot and will not understand. What people do not, cannot and will not understand, they fear. What people fear, they attack. Most people in this world are incapable of empathy. They cannot and will not ever admit that any of the awful things they hear about happening to other people or other people doing will ever happen to them or they will ever end up doing. They live in utter denial of reality.
Joshua did not live his life knowing or planning on killing his child by tossing her onto a bed so hard that her head hit the wall. He is, I am certain, one of those people that would have been outraged and indignant upon hearing of such a thing happening to someone else. He would have been the first to say HE would never do such a thing, that his child was the love of his life and he would do anything to protect her. And yet, in a split second of frustration and anger, he acted abominably and took the life of someone very precious — to him and now to the world. It wasn’t intentional and he didn’t realize how badly he had hurt London, but he crossed the line, a line he can’t ever cross back.
No one thinks they are going to be the next victim of a horrible crime: car jacking, robbery, rape. No one thinks they are going to be the next person to make an irrevocable mistake in judgement that has long lasting and horrible consequences: running a red light a few seconds after it turned from yellow and causing an accident that takes a child’s life, forgetting to lock the front door and an armed robber shoots and kills your children, mixing up the doses of your child’s different insulin and sending them into diabetic shock, coma and death, backing out of the driveway and running over your own toddler, spending Saturday afternoon with the kids washing the family car and finding your toddler had toppled into and drowned in the bucket of suds you’d been using. All of these things have actually happened, and the adult they happened to wasn’t thinking, “Oh, today I’m going to make a really bad decision that will result in taking a child’s life.” No, they could NEVER have imagined that anything like that could ever happen to them, but it did. So I know it could happen to ME.
The people who are living in fear, who will not deal with reality, are different. They still believe it will never happen to them. They are superior because they would NEVER leave their child, they would NEVER do this or they would NEVER do that. “Never” is a pretty strong word, because there’s hardly anything that “never” happens. “Never” is not reality.
So I empathize with all the frightened, negative, backlashing commenters. Do I like what they say or how they say it? Absolutely not. I find them to be rude, obnoxious, childish, boorish, uneducated, ill-mannered, and unkind. Yet, I understand why they are that way and where it’s coming from, and forgive them their ignorance. That is true empathy, and I’m sure it will chap their asses to know it.


2 Responses to “Where Negative Comments Come From”

  1. Sherry January 14, 2008 at 3:40 PM #

    I just wanted to say that was a very powerful post. I think you hit the nail on the head.
    Bravo for saying it so nicely and positively.

    That said. I hope that people will stop judging Josh and Jessica. They are both greiving the loss of baby London. They both have a lifetime ahead of them to live without their precious baby.

    God bless.


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