Dis Ekke

My vreugdes en frustrasies

A - Z (2018)

#AtoZchallenge (2018) M is for feeling Mean

My theme for this challenge is “feelings” of a sexagenarian and the influence of social media.

My tema vir hierdie uitdaging is “gevoelens” van ‘n sestig-plusser en die invloed van sosiale media.

English (Afrikaans below):

Mean: feeling unkind, spiteful, or unfair. Who will ever admit to feeling mean? Under which circumstances will I confess that I am feeling/have felt unkind, spiteful or unfair? Never (except here on my blog). I will always have an excuse for my mean behavior, but I will never admit to committing mean actions because I am a mean person. I am just not that honest. Who is?

But the truth is, at one point or another, every one of us has been guilty of feeling mean and acting upon that feeling. This transgression is not limited only to those people that can be described as evil, heartless or self-serving (or politicians). Ordinary people also have those moments where we are overpowered by the normal everyday frustrations and we react by being mean to others.

Examples? Ok, let’s take a look at my behavior on the road (this is me being honest).

  • I admit to having “flipped the bird” on occasion in heavy traffic when another driver dared to overtake me in the wrong lane, for tail-gating me or even just looking askance at me. Why? – not because his action was a real threat to my safety but only because I was tired and irritated. Unfair, yes.
  • In South Africa we have an abundance of registered car-guards who do an excellent job of protecting our cars from being stolen while we shop and go about our business errands. I have no issue with them. Unfortunately, around every corner and on every side street also lurks a self-appointed non-registered car guard who insists on watching your car while washing the windows with a grimy cloth in order to extort more money from you. I’ve built up an impressive vocabulary which I do not hesitate to use in order to scare them off and I never pay them. Unkind, yes, because poverty reigns supreme in this country and everybody is trying to pocket some money, but again, these altercations are irritating and frustrating.
  • So there I am crawling along in second gear down a narrow lane behind a long queue of cars, trying to keep a little distance from the car in front of me when the guy behind me sees that minuscule little gap and makes a move to pass. He will get not to his destination any sooner, but he still wants to drive in my spot. Do I pull over (if at all possible)? Hell no, I’m way too spiteful.

Does this make me a mean person? No, or maybe yes, but I have such good excuses for my behavior, haha.

The role of social media: Jokes aside, it seems that social media has become a free for all invitation to insult each other’s mentality, intelligence, religious beliefs, sex life, political opinion, you name it. I am appalled at the way that virtual strangers verbally attack each other on social media when they do not agree with certain principles. My objection has less to do with the fact that people are in disagreement with regard to certain topics, than the way these arguments are conducted. It seems that they do not hesitate to inflict hurt or to humiliate and harm their adversities in any manner possible for no reason other than finding pleasure in being mean. Today’s emoji: 😬

Afrikaans:

Gemeen: onbarmhartig, moedswillig of onbillik voel. Wie sal ooit erken dat hierdie ‘n emosie is wat enigieman soms ondervind? Onder watter omstandighede sal ek bely dat ek onbarmhartig, moedswillig of onbillik is/was? Nooit (behalwe hier op my blog). Ek sal altyd ‘n verskoning hê vir my gemene gedrag, maar ek sal nooit erken dat ek ‘n gemene persoon is of dat ek bewustelik gemeen optree nie. Ek is net nie so eerlik nie. Wie is?

Maar die waarheid is, op een of ander stadium, is elkeen van ons skuldig aan gemene gevoelens en optrede. Hierdie oortreding is nie net beperk tot die mense wat beskryf kan word as van nature kwaadwillig, harteloos of selfsugtig (of politici) nie. Gewone mense het ook daardie oomblikke waar ons oorval word deur die normale alledaagse frustrasies en ons reageer deur gemeen op te tree teenoor andere.

Voorbeelde? Oukei, kom ons kyk na my gedrag op die pad (ek is nou eerlik hieromtrent).

  • Ek erken dat ek al ‘n middelvinger rongeswaai het in swaar verkeer as ‘n ander bestuurder my in die verkeerde baan durf verbygaan het, te naby aan my gery het of selfs net skeef na my gekyk het. Hoekom? – nie omdat sy optrede ‘n groot bedreiging vir my veiligheid was nie, maar net omdat ek moeg en geïrriteerd was. Onbillik, ja.
  • In Suid-Afrika het ons ‘n oorvloed geregistreerde motorwagte wat ‘n uitstekende werk verrig om ons motors te beskerm teen diefstal terwyl ons inkopies doen of besigheid afhandel. Ek het vrede met hulle. Ongelukkig is daar ook op elke straathoek en in elke systraat ‘n self-aangestelde, nie-geregistreerde motorwag, wat daarop aandring om na jou motor te om te sien terwyl hy die vensters met ‘n vuil lap was, net om meer geld uit jou te kry. Ek het ‘n indrukwekkende woordeskat opgebou wat ek nie huiwer om te gebruik om hulle af te skrik nie en ek betaal hulle ook nooit. Onbarmhartig? Ongelukkig, ja, omdat armoede in hierdie land hoogty vier en almal probeer om ‘n ekstra geldjie in die sak te steek, maar weer is hierdie gekibbel irriterend en frustrerend.
  • So kruip ek in tweede rat in ‘n smal laan agter ‘n lang ry motors aan en probeer om ‘n veilige afstand van die motor voor my te hou, terwyl die man agter my die minimale gaping sien en hard probeer om my verby te steek. Hy sal nie vroeër by sy bestemming kom nie, maar hy wil steeds in my plek ry. Gee ek pad vir hom (indien enigsins moontlik)? Hel nee, ek is te moedswillig.

Maak dit van my ‘n gemene mens? Nee, of dalk ja, maar ek het sulke goeie verskonings vir my gedrag, haha.

Die rol van sosiale media: Grappe op ‘n stokkie, dit blyk dat sosiale media ‘n uitnodiging aan almal bied om mekaar se mentaliteit, intelligensie, godsdienstige oortuigings, sekslewe, politieke mening, noem dit maar op, te beledig. Ek is soms geskok oor die manier waarop virtuele vreemdelinge mekaar mondelings aanval op sosiale media wanneer hulle nie met sekere beginsels saamstem nie. My beswaar het minder te doen met die feit dat mense verdeeld is oor sekere onderwerpe, as die manier waarop hierdie argumente gevoer word. Dit blyk dat hulle nie huiwer om seer te maak, te verneder en hulle teensstaanders op enige moontlike manier te benadeel, om geen ander rede nie as vir die plesier daarvan om gemeen te wees nie. Emoji vir vandag: 😬

Read all my entries for the #AtoZchallenge (April 2018) here.

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39 Comments

  1. It wouldn’t be natural if we did not have all those qualities which are called negative. If we did not have them we would be perfect and boring 😊 Social media has its negative points and positive ones. A senior relative used to say if there are more positive points we should learn to ignore the negative ones. Regards

    • HesterLeyNel

      I am in total agreement with that.

  2. Uit al jou skrywes het ek nou al afgelei, dat meeste van hierdie emosies, (waarvan gemeenheid een is) wat mense ervaar, deel van oorlewing is. As kind het ons geleer om dit te beheer en dat dit onaanvaarbaar is om so op te tree. Dis wat die “beskaafde lagie” genoem word. Maar o wee, as mens te nagekom word, skilfer dit vinnig af!
    Jou reeks laat my baie dink, Hester.

    • HesterLeyNel

      Dankie Bytjie. Jy is heeltemal reg omtrent die afskilfering; ek het ook maar baie laat in my lewe eers besef dat daar baie mense is wat nie die waardes uitleef wat hulle so predik nie. As jy die enigste een is wat “mooi speel”, is jy ook die een wat seerkry. Dit klink vreeslik sinies, want ek weet daar is nog goeie mense daar buite, maar ek het oor die algemeen my vertroue in die mensdom ietwat afgeskaal. Natuurlik tas dit my eie gedrag ook aan, soos jy sê, terwille van oorlewing.

  3. Ja, ons almal se onderrok hang soms uit. My geduld vernis is dun, dan is ek sommer goed onbillik. Stem met Perdebytjie, jou skrywes al met die alfabet af, is pitkos.

  4. Anonymous

    Eina. Daardie ou wat so voor ñ mens wil inry omdat jy ñ goeie afstand tussen jou en die voertuig voor jou hou, daardie ou laat my woedend en ek sê hom goed sleg so harop in my kar. Sommer ook iets soos dat ek hoop hy kry ñ pap band, of ñ pyn in sy gat. Ergste is, ek voel glad nie sleg daaroor nie. Ek stem saam mer die ander kommentare, jy laat my daagliks bietjie binnekant toe kyk.

    • HesterLeyNel

      Dankie Una. Ek lag altyd, want ek ry met ‘n klein karretjie en dis vreeslik frustrerend vir die ouens met die 4x4xfokkols as so ‘n ou klein karretjie al voor hulle inbrul elke keer as hulle wil verbykom. Dan is dit nog ‘n ou antie met grys hare – sulke fossiele hoort nie op die pad nie, haha.

  5. Anonymous

    Anonymous, lyk my dis my ander naam…xx Una.

  6. Verstom my ook aan die giftige kommentaar op fb, maar die wilskrag om op te hou lees, is te min!

    • HesterLeyNel

      Soms is dit nogal grappig, maar dit kan ook kru raak.

    • Frannie, ek kry dit reg om niks kommentare op FB te lees nie. Ek het ‘n wilsbesluit geneem, want dit stem my tot hartseer om te sien hoe giftig mense anoniem kan wees.

  7. Dit is seker vir my een van die lelikste eienskappe in die mens… en ons is almal skuldig. Jou karretjie laat my dink wat my swaer vir my gesê het toe ek vir agt maande in die stad by hulle kom bly het om my fotografiesekursus te doen. Ek het ‘Ken se “pet” die Morris Minor gery. “Doen jouself ‘n guns,” sê my swaer. “Hou jou oë op die pad voor jou, moenie links of regs… en veral nie in jou truspieëltjie kyk wanneer jy ry nie. Jy wil nie die ander bestuurders se reaksie op hierdie Morris Minor sien nie.”

    • HesterLeyNel

      Haha

    • HesterLeyNel

      So, doen jy nog enige fotografie? Ons sien nooit van jou fotos nie.

      • Die studio bloginskrywing waarna ek verwys het, het ek weer geplaas as jy wil gaan lees 😊 Ek het jou naam genoem… moes jou seker getag het.

    • Ek het studio en troufotografie gedoen. Myle se plesier in die studio gehad. Ook vir ‘n agentskap portfolio fotos geneem vir model of dramawerk. Het my eie studio by huis gehad, en toe skoonseun hulle laat bou het, en ons stadtoe trek het hy vir my ‘n studio laat aanbou. Troufotografie is ongelooflike harde werk. Jy staan met daardie kamera en sware lens van omtrent 7 uur die oggend tot die blomme laataand gegooi word. Moes my studio toemaak en fotografie stop toe ek Menieres gekry het. Sal vir jou ‘n link stuur van my een aand in die studio. Dit was maar net een van vele tranelag episisodes in die studio.

      • Nou leer ons nog iets van die geheimsinnige Camilla…ek bedoel Kameel.

        • Ek het dit laat in my lewe gedoen (mid vyftigs) maar as ek dit nie gedoen het nie sou dit altyd voel daar is ‘n puzzle stuk missing. Dit was hierdie deel van my lewe (fotografie) wat my bietjie vir bietjie uit die gat van depressie getrek het.

        • Dit doen ook iets vir my. Dis nou jammer jy kan nie meer aangaan daarmee nie.

  8. ‘Registered car guards while we shop!’ I’ve never heard that said before! And yes meanness is a hard one to admit about oneself because we’re not necessarily talking about always money :/

    • HesterLeyNel

      True, it’s not always the money. Is registered car guards an unknown concept in your country? It is a nifty bit of entrepreneurship here. These people take up posts in parking areas (e.g. at a mall, on the beachfront, etc.) and they look after your car. It is for protection against theft and vandalism. They form a group / association and the mall owners or municipality give permission for them to act as car guards at the mall. Each guard pays a small amount for a uniform vest and a certain area in the parking is allocated to him / her. (This is what we call “registered”, although it is not regulated by any bylaws as far as I know). This prevents “fake” guards from trying to take on the job. Payment is voluntary and the car owner can decide how much he wants to hand over to the guard. And yes, we do pay them to stand in the sun or wind / rain all day to look after our cars, hold an umbrella when necessary and taking the shopping trolleys back to the relevant shop. They get to make a little money and car theft figures are way down since they started these little businesses.

  9. Gemene mense staan my nie aan nie!

  10. The situations you described and your reaction to them aren’t you being mean, necessarily. In the first and third instances the person is being a threat to your safety, and deserves the finger. In the second, it might be for good reason that the car guard is unregistered, and in any case he’s being a pest.

    I’ve often said that, in the days before social media, the people we now call Internet trolls were the sort of people who would sit on crowded buses muttering to themselves and making everyone nervous. I suppose that the Internet has provided them with an outlet for their antisocial behavior and thus made it safer to ride the bus, but it hasn’t made their boorish behavior any easier to eal with.

    • HesterLeyNel

      Haha, I actually never thought of the trolls that way.

  11. Nilanjana Bose

    Very expressive emoji today 🙂 What I notice is that people can be meaner to each other when on the internet, and when behind a wheel.

    • HesterLeyNel

      Yes, because it affords a measure of anonymity and a false sense of security.

  12. Ha ha.. i see those scenarios. We always have excuses (May be that’s not the word). I really dont know if being mean is always wrong and we all do. I guess It might look so for others but we have our environment for that.

    This was a nice read. 🙂

    • HesterLeyNel

      Thank you 😊 and yes, the environment plays a big role in this.

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