Somehow, somewhere, sometime we became a society that reacts to bad behavior by granting attention to those who can't control themselves in public. We talk for days about the football player that, in his excitement over a great play, starts attacking the team he beat. We glorify him by acknowledging the bad behavior and making him bigger than his team. When did acting poorly become the thing to do?
It doesn't stop there. We all know what the mayor of Toronto looks like. He is after all, an international joke! He gets drunk and makes a fool of himself on a regular basis and is, let's face it, an embarrassment to the city. Instead of letting Toronto impeach him for this disgraceful behavior and moving on, international media reports weekly on his latest fall from grace. The man clearly needs help not the media putting his face on TV and encouraging his bad behavior.
There is a thought that the terrorists in these public massacres know they will become famous after death and seek attention so much that they do the unthinkable. We all know what the "bad guys" look like after the fact. They look like us. They are messed up individuals but they got their faces on TV. Think about it. We all know what the terrorists look like from Columbine to Oklahoma City to 9-11 to Sandy Hook to Boston. Their faces are part of us like our own grandparents faces are part of us.
When a child acts up in school parents and teachers get together to handle the behavior but as adults we have become so fixated on behaving poorly that we no longer have any boundaries. People cyber-stalk other people trying to get one-up on them. We make everything out to be about us as individuals when some things have nothing to do with us.
Recently I have been faced with a choice. I could get mad as heck at my personal privacy being invaded which gives the power to others or I could ignore the invasion and pray for the parties who clearly need prayer more than anger. I am praying. I am trying to behave as God would want me to behave. I am trying to forgive those who hurt me or want to hurt me and hope that they will find peace. For me to get angry or get even would be reacting to someone else's bad behavior with my own.
We all have stories. We all have our own pain and our own private hell. Sometimes that pain is caught on camera and people spend a lot of time talking about it, casting stones, judging others. Sometimes that attention although negative is exactly what the person who behaved poorly wants.
I am not perfect. I make mistakes. I have suffered loss the same as anyone. I have my own pain to live with. I have my own problems to fight from the loss of loved ones to my fight against myself with eating disorders to my struggles to love myself and let others love me. Along the way I have made bad choices and lost people I loved because of it and I have made good choices and still lost people I loved because of it.
There are no easy answers in life. Nobody is granted life without struggle. What separates you and I from mayors and football players and terrorist is a thin line and when all is said and done, we are all just children in God's classroom doing the best we can living the life we are given. Some of us crave attention or worse, pity. Some of us need an outlet to get our feelings down and let them go. Some of us just want to be left alone.
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