Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Flinging Poo Just Makes A Mess

It's a long-held legend, maybe true, that monkeys in a zoo like to fling things at the people staring at them through the bars.  Completely understandable. Staring is aggression in the animal world, and here's a bunch of us humans just looking at them through the bars. The natural instinct is fight or flight, and since most zoos don't allow for flight, you get fight.  Animals tend to use every single weapon to get us to go away.  They get angry and throw things. Including their feces. 

Humans are no different.  We get into a bad mood, for whatever reason, and we just start flinging poop all over, wanting everyone else to go away.  That's what I tell my counseling students when someone randomly snaps at them during the day.  Most of them laugh at the picture of someone walking around throwing their poop, and we talk about it more. You have two choices, I tell them: Fling the poop back/start a feces melee, or wipe the crap off and walk away.  Which choice is going to get you where you need to be?

Last week, I cut through the line on my way to the door, walking in front of a man yapping on his phone.  My focus was to get out of the way of everyone else waiting in line as soon as possible.  I did not bump him, or cause him to drop his phone, or spill drinks all over him. 

"The word you're looking for is 'excuse me'," he said snarkily.   

Okay, at that point I did want to spill my drinks all over him. I had been waiting over 20 minutes for my food at a "fast food" place where I had ordered ahead so as to cut my wait time. My brain instinctively growled, wanting to fight. I was hangry.  I tossed an equally snarky "Excuse ME," as I left the store.  I sat in the car to calm down, embarrassed. 

That man was flinging poop.  I was flinging it right back.
Ever since a certain orange man was elected to the highest office in our land, there's been a foul stench in the air.  People all around me, myself included, now feel as though they have a mandate be as obnoxious as they want to be.  As a result, the tenor of daily discourse has been altered. Instead of polite and courteous, or at least neutral comments, now everyone is flinging their poop at everyone else.  Where there was once a feeling of unity and cooperation, because we are ALL Americans, no matter our color, now there exists a huge pile of feces. We can't throw actual things at people, because that is assault, which is frowned upon.  So we make snarky comments to perfect strangers in the line at McDonald's, and they make snarky comments to us. We yell at our children.  We insult people on Twitter, and post comments on other's Facebook pages, looking for a fight.

It's a form of violence that we've been ignoring for too long.  I have contributed my share of metaphorical feces, and for that I apologize. I have decided to wipe off any more random poop flung my way, and walk away.  I resolve to do better, to be better, as much as I can.  I will not throw any more poop at an unsuspecting populace.

Not even if they really, really, REALLY deserve it.

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