I came across one of those memes today, the “I asked for X and here’s what I got.” The premise of the “joke” seems to be the gift giver, presumably a loved one, pretends to misunderstand what the receiver wants, in order to give them something crappy. We’ve all seen them, “Asked my Mom for Beats headphones” with a picture of a box full of beets (the vegetable).
Maybe it’s me, but I’ve never seen the humor in this, especially since its typically parents doing it to their children. In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in people trying to get internet famous by posting videos of themselves subjecting their kids to cruel pranks, public shaming, and other nasty behaviors presented as fun jokes. An unfortunate amount of time, it works too. Comment after comment about how funny it is, and how the commenter either has done or would do the same thing. Anyone who dares to express concern is shouted down, accused of being soft. May the gods help you if you make the very valid point that these things are abusive. That gets you a barrage of personal insults, combined with stories about how their parents used to hang them in the basement by their thumbs and it was GREAT because it made them TOUGH, not like the “snowflakes” of today.
Because let’s be real, this is not a new phenomenon. Terrible people have existed since the beginning of people, they just have a much larger platform now, and modern technology has made it much easier for them to find one another.
So what can we do? I seriously doubt the people who need to hear this are going to be reading this blog. Do what you can, if you feel safe enough to challenge them, do it. If you can’t, that’s okay. Go forth and be just a little bit kinder, a little more compassionate. Every light we shine chases away a bit more darkness.
Until Next Time,