Howling at the Moon – There’s one in every crowd

Filed under: Opinion |

by Sylene Argent

Sometimes, life can sure send us a few curveballs. Sometimes, those curveballs are created from other people’s actions or words, which could be derived from a place of negativity or a place of constructive criticism.

When I am faced with such situations, I try to dig through that content to uncover the intent. I think intention is everything. If criticism or a comment is offered as a means of helpfulness, then as much as we maybe be bothered, or even insulted, to hear the words, we can take the information and either dismiss it or even perhaps consider it. No one is perfect, so we can all improve from learning from one another, if we let ourselves consider another person’s perspective.

On the other hand, if the criticism or comment was meant to be malicious, then we need to take it (or, really, leave it), for what it is; nastiness. That negativity may have been directed for another reason that had nothing to do with you at all.
I feel like, more and more, some people go out of their way to ruin someone else’s day, or sometimes almost try to control others as soon as the slightest opportunity arises, in this unspoken challenge for hierarchy. Perhaps it only seems like this sometimes because so many negative comments can be read on social media.

Recently, however, I witnessed a situation that I thought was harmless and funny, but someone else seemed to have taken offense.

I was in a store when someone had reminded an employee about something that apparently had been forgotten about. This employee said the “swear word” version of “crap,” in a harmless and humorous way, then darted towards the area forgotten about.

I thought the situation was cute as the intention was not harmful in anyway. I giggled. We have all forgotten something and know what that little instance of panic is like. I could certainly relate to the situation.

I was about to focus my attention on my shopping at hand when I heard another customer muttered the word “language.”

Initially, I thought this person was joking, adding to the quirky dialogue, perhaps because I would have made a joke of it if I had wanted to inject myself into the situation. But, no laughs were muttered, nor was it followed up with an “I’m joking” comment.

The employee quickly apologized, then scooted off.

I couldn’t believe it. Why do people feel the need to direct others? In no way was this a harmful situation, nor was the word said in a malicious manner. Who cares? It put a smile on my face. The intention was harmless.

It just seems that today, it is less and less acceptable to express one’s self in fear of offending someone else. Not everyone has the same personality, thank goodness for that, but I think it is okay to “slip up” occasionally and not be centered out for it.

Perhaps, when we take notice of one of those “slip ups,” we can laugh along instead of adding negativity to the situation, that way everyone can go home with a smile and fun story to share.