Have you ever had any similarly frustrating situations like this with Comcast or some other service provider?
Since I am on tirade here after my message to Comcast...I want to say a few words about the shootings in Arizona and all the discussion that is going on right now about hate speech. Well, actually I want to talk about how this recent discussion has got me to think more about my own sloppiness and carelessness with words.
I try so hard not to be negative. I do. But this Comcast thing just made me so sick for so many months. I wanted to run around screaming "I hate comcast! I hate them!" And I did use those words in a blog posting back in September. But I have been trying really hard to erase the word "hate" from my vocabulary. This is kind of a New Year resolution for me. Something I have been thinking about for awhile and working on it, and all of this discussion coming out of the Arizona shootings has me thinking even more about it.
My husband is such a positive person. He really helps me improve and stay on track to be positive. He is the one that made me realize how much I used that word - hate. I tossed it around all the time. Oh I hate this and I hate that and I hate that actor and I hate that show and I hate that music and I hate that pundit and I hate when she does that...on and on. And to me it didn't really have such a negative or serious connotation. I used that word to substitute for a whole range of emotions and levels of seriousness. I had become lazy and sloppy. I was misusing the word. To capture dislike, displeasure, disagreement, etc.
When I realized what I was doing, I stopped and thought about it. What do others hear? How do they interpret what I am saying? It may mean nothing to me because I've abused the true meaning of the word, but others might be holding it true so that something that meant nothing to me in saying it might actually be something very strong and serious and offensive to them.
Merriam Webster's definition of hate: intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury. When I stopped and thought about it there was actually very little in this world and my life that I "hate". There are very few people, if any, I have ever really hated. Intense hostility, from fear and anger and injury? Not so much. Yeah, I think I might have a few examples in my life of reasons for feelings of hate. But those are very few. And the new me wants to eliminate any and all hate from my life past and present. Life is too short and too beautiful to hate. Life is what you make of it. You can choose to be happy and positive and see the good or you can choose otherwise. I think I have a pretty good history of choosing the former, but when I met my husband, I realized I had a lot more work to do.
I am spending more time thinking about what I say and how I say it, being more aware now that others may not be interpreting my words as I want them to, especially if I am sloppy with how I toss around and misuse words. I still slip up. But I am aware now. I think about it a lot more. And I catch myself. Sometimes before I do it. Sometimes after. But I feel it is progress.
And this thinking circles me back to this public discussion and debate going on right now, as a result of the tragic shootings in Arizona, where six people died and many others were wounded. Discussion about our "climate of hate." About accountability for reckless, violent rhetoric. I believe in free speech. I love intelligent, informed discussion and debate. I dislike (see, I did not use the word hate!) fear mongering and reckless violent rhetoric. Just as I have taken on my personal responsibility to clean up my language and be more careful about what I say and why so that I am really speaking and hopefully communicating true words, I want all of these tv and radio personalities and these politicians and pundits to clean up their act. I want them to have real debate and discussion and remove the fear mongering and the anger and the hatred and the violence. I don't understand how people can watch these people and listen to them and respect them. They should be ignored. I have always disliked all of that. I can't watch Fox or MSNBC or any of these tv "news" programs - right or left. I can't even stomach some of the CNN problems sometimes.
It is a proven fact that there is an increase in reported threats and vandalism aimed at elected officials. In one op-ed piece I read in the NY Times by Paul Krugman, he said: