I understand if you’re depressed or fatigued or in pain. At many points in my life I have been all of those things; often at the same time.
That does not buy you the right to bully people. It especially doesn’t buy you the right to ridicule and mock a person who is someone you have never even met before.
I suppose I shouldn’t be astonished at this, but I am.
I see at a lot; I have a few acquaintances who do this. What I find most troubling about it is the “tyranny of the good person”. Betsy Phillips first mentioned this to me in a conversation about a year or so ago and since then I’ve noticed it A LOT.
People who believe they are right about something and that the something they are right about is good then believe that they are a good person. Believing themselves to be a good person, they give their actions a pass. It’s even worse when they are interacting with someone they believe to be on the opposite side of the Good Right thing they believe in.
- People who believe they are on the correct side of a political argument think they are good and right when they confront and mock folks of the other side of the argument. Call it Limbaugh/Stewart syndrome. (I can’t link to this example because I deleted it. )
- People who are ardent followers of their religion believe they are doing good when they treat others with meanspiritedness, as long as those others are not followers of that religion. Folks who would never look at a person in a wheelchair and say “you’re a feeble waste of space” will look at a nonbeliever and call them a Cretan. (Which sounds like Cretin when you say it aloud, and if you aren’t a Christian you’re most likely not going to get the reference anyway.)
- People who believe they are smart about tangible and empirical knowledge, preferring it to faith, have no compunction about calling religious people stupid.
- People who like to read and think they are somehow better or smarter will mock those who like sports or tv programs or other leisure activities, even though they themselves dislike being mocked for being non-athletic.
Those are just a few of the examples, but once you know about it you start seeing it everywhere.
Believing in a good thing doesn’t make you a good person. Being forgiven of your sins doesn’t make you a good person.
Good people treat others with kindness. Religion and politics and a low carbon footprint do not serve as camouflage to hide the way you treat others and excuse your pettiness.