Everything is So Negative

A while back, Esquire magazine had an article that covered why “Justin Bieber is Not a Man”.  Overall, it was kind of mean spirited.  Let’s be honest, it’s not tough to take shots at Justin Bieber.  He’s a teen pop sensation and really, that will always make you a target no matter whether you are cool or not.  He used to have a pretty goofy haircut, but then again, if I look back at myself when I was sixteen, I seem to remember having one of those peach fuzz ‘staches going on.  Advantage Bieber.

What got me about the article is that Esquire pitches itself as a magazine for the discerning man, so to see them taking shots at a 16 year old kid was kind of confusing…and embarrassing.  Part of being a man is not taking shots at somebody when they are essentially the person you used to be.  It’s being able to see a guy doing something and think, “Man, he’s going to look back on this and laugh one day.”  You certainly don’t sit there and take public shots at the kid.

But that just seems to be the way things are these days.  Everything seems so mean spirited.  It’s kind of like that great moment on Late Night with Conan O’Brien where Louis CK was on and started talking about how “Everything’s Amazing and Nobody’s Happy”. It seems that the only time people are happy these days is when they are doing it at somebody else’s expense.  I don’t think that I am simply reaching my golden years early, it just seems that people are always looking for somebody to put down.

A little while back, my girlfriend made the comment that I’m so nice to people and that I just do nice things for them out of nowhere.  It sounds a little cheesy and simplistic, but isn’t that how we should really operate?  Think about it.  You’re sitting there in the office on a random Friday and you’re desperately counting the minutes until the weekend appears.  Your boss comes over and asks you for a million things, reminding you that you are still in the office for another 4 hours that day and he is going to get every minute’s worth out of you.  You can feel your muscles tense and you just want to hit somebody, but then out of nowhere, somebody just drops a coffee off at your desk and you think “man, this coffee came just at the right time…it’s not a beer, but it’ll do.”

I was at church a few weeks ago (yeah, that’s right…kind of started going again) and after some people came in and greeted my girlfriend and I, the service got going.  We couldn’t believe how welcoming the people were.  We got a little welcome kit, a couple of people invited us for coffee after the service, it was…well…nice.  It was also a marketing ploy, I mean, they want young people in the church since the demographics in the church was definitely skewing in a way that didn’t suggest long term growth, but it was still nice.

We went to the coffee after the service and chatted with a few people, but when we were leaving, we saw some people standing on the side of the church just talking and laughing.  We looked at each other and all we could think was, “Everyone’s so happy here.”  It was weird.  But that’s the other thing that struck us.  It’s weird for us to see a bunch of people just being happy.  No making fun of people, no taking shots at anybody, just having a laugh about nothing in particular.  It’s strange to think that our daily lives have become such a negative thing that when we are in a happy environment, it doesn’t feel normal.

I’m not saying that I don’t get pissed off.  I’m still human and sometimes people or things that happen can get me going. But I just try to be a generally nice person until I am put in a situation where I can’t be.  It’s not something I try to work on, it’s just a way of living and it pretty much makes every day that much easier.

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