Since when has it become acceptable to wish ill on others?
This is a question that I think about often. A recent back and forth with a close-minded individual ended with that person saying, ” I hope that someday you can see the injustice in the world…” The confusion for me stems from my own admission of some of the injustices that myself, family, and friends have faced, yet the person – in my reading of it – wishes for me to see more of the injustice out there, through personal tragedy or that of friends and family. It worries me that this person is so hurt that they wish hurt on others.
It’s similar to other comments I’ve heard through my life, directed at me. Most recently they’ve been centered around guns and gun related violence. Comments like, “I hope something happens to make you realize you need a gun to protect yourself,” and, “Something will happen where you live, and you will change your mind.” While they may not read as direct “I hope negative thing x happens for you to change your view on y,” the meaning is clear enough.
You can hear things like this in any “hot topic”:
* “I hope you get raped and then maybe you’ll change your mind on abortion.”
* “I hope you have a kid that’s gay, then you’ll know what it’s like to deal with the threats.”
* “Someday you’ll lose your job and then you won’t be complaining about welfare – you’ll be using it.”
* “Someday you’ll have a medical issue you can’t afford, and then you’ll reconsider social health care.”
* “You’ll realize how hard it is when your kids start doing drugs.”
* “You’ll realize how horrible things can get when your spouse cheats on you and you don’t get sole custody of the kids because you’re a man.”
Why do people do this? Why go out of your way to wish ill on another human being directly or indirectly? If you’ve gone through such difficulties, injustices, hardships, whatever you may call them, why think it acceptable to push that towards others?
It seems unfortunate for our descendants that we as United States citizens are creating a society that seems to live and breath off having other people go through the same dire misfortunes in order to gain empathy. Isn’t it obvious that the action of such is simply the opposite – apathy? By wishing ill, whether intentionally or not, on others we are showing that we simply don’t care about them. We don’t care what their life is like, what their past is, or what their future could be.
We are creating a mind set so self centered on people living our own life that we forget they have their own to live.
It’s different to say that you hope that a person can change their mind on something. I’ve often told those that feel guns protect from guns that I hope they someday come to realization that you need to be change you want to see in the world; if you want a world without gun violence, you need to help create a world with no guns. If you want a world free of injustices created from stereotypes, you need to stop creating and spreading stereotypes. I would never in a million years say that I hope some gets in a situation where they need a gun, only for it to jam; nor would I ever hope that someone gets disregarded based off from a stereotype that could other wise be wiped away by education and awareness.
I hope that someday there will be a way to make people realize that by hoping for harm to come to others the only thing that is being accomplished is creating more harm.
Apathy is not empathy. It is not sympathy. Apathy is destructive.