You don’t listen, but you care to much about “what they say!”

You don’t listen, but you care too much about “what they say!”

“A salivating monster with serrated teeth and severe halitosis is hiding under your bed.”
Ok, some childhood fears may surface!
For a few seconds, you’ll imagine that beast with bad breath waiting for you to fall asleep!
Once you’ve crossed the threshold of REM sleep he will reach up, shred your belly, and laugh while your entrails spill onto the floor.
But of course, you won’t pay much attention to my ramblings, because you know it’s a fabrication!

What if I improve these imaginary monsters a notch and escalate them into the “grownup world!”
I could mention in passing that “I think the company is experiencing some financial difficulties?”
I could add a devious additional embellishment such as “The cute blonde from the fifth floor said they were cutting telephone bills to save costs!”
Pretty soon all references to financial stuff get woven into an insidious, yet fragmented pictures of doom and gloom.

Exposure to fake news and poorly researched stories can have the same effect.
Yeah, we’re always so ready to leech onto dramatic drivel and inject it with enough emotion to light a small bonfire.
Instead of “listening” to the whole dynamic, our fast-food and fast-everything mentality taught us to skim over logic.
We’re so quick to formulate conclusions based upon “half-interpreted” potential facts.
Do we really “listen” anymore?
“It was on Facebook, therefore it has to be true! I recognized the name of someone I knew in that news report!”
“The opposition leader in parliament spoke his piece, so therefore it must be important!”

Just like everyone else I fall prey to stories that feed off our deepest fears and insecurities.
But people say things because they say things.
It’s often as simple as that.
If a certain phrase isn’t powerful enough to make the universe implode it probably won’t affect you!

Even if you take offense you’ll only be able to react if you hear it.
Consider that for a minute, we spot comments and become deeply offended.
“People said stuff! Oh no!!”

Does a bear shit in the woods if you don’t spot him?
Of course, he does.
But you’re not going to stalk every bear just to get a glimpse of his ablution habits.
That’s just absurd.
Do people write and speak offensively when you’re not around?
Of course, they do.
How you react to each and every floating text-turd is your choice.
“People said stuff! Oh no!!”

Hate speech, malicious rumors, and all carefully formatted lies are wrong.
We should never condone words that have the potential to hurt.
But once they are out there your reaction is often the very thing that fuels a repeat performance by the perpetrators who “say things because they can say things!”

Today a friend pointed out that I’m often quite guilty of reacting to “people who say things because they can say things.”
I react and attempt to put out fires with gasoline.
Yep! I also “say things simply because I can say things!”

I think I’ve said enough now!
But do remember to check under your bed tonight.
I know you’re not quite convinced there are no lurking monsters…