There is a virus that is going around. Our whole country is being infected. You may not realize that you have caught it, but you know when you have been exposed. There isnt a vaccination for it, but there is a cure. The cure is not covered by insurance, but lucky for us, it is free.
This virus is very contagious. The onset after exposure can be immediate, or it could take weeks to attack your brain and heart. There are no physical symptoms such a fever or rash, body aches or pains. Despite the lack of physical symptoms, your sleep patterns can become disturbed.
The only way to avoid this virus is to be vigilant, mindful of your surroundings and the people around you.
At first, you live in denial that you have caught the virus, even though you know you have been exposed. And then one night, when the insomnia hits and you are tossing and turning, your mind wandering over the days past, you realize that you have caught it.
What is the name of this virus? The Latin name for it is Medium-Animositas. It is often called avarice, malice, debasement, degradation, malignity, pettiness, small-mindedness, or just plain old meanness.
Why is it so easy to succumb to meannes? Its a simple way to feel important when we feel insecure, powerless or even weak.
We do and say mean things to make us feel better.
The more insecure we become in our world, the meaner we tend to be toward others. Putting down or pointing out someone that we feel is worse off than us gives us a momentary high.
We feel like, well things are bad but at least we arent them.
In doing so we believe we are lifting ourselves up. It makes us feel powerful.
Degrading those who are different from us makes us feel better about our social standing, our intelligence, and our way of life.
Meanness is so contagious because when someone insults you or belittles you, your self-esteem can take a blow. The fastest way to fix that is to be mean to someone else. And the wheels on the bus go round and round.
When our self-esteem takes a blow, we want to restore the balance. One of the ways that this happens is through aggressive words or actions towards those who we feel are less than us or not in our groups. Insecurity drives most of the cruelty in our world.
What is the cure? Know yourself. Be aware of who you are. Take the time to truly understand yourself.
When you know yourself, the words and actions of others have less effect on you. Another person does not have the power to make or break your day. And when you feel the security of knowing yourself, you dont want to harm others in this world that we share.
Kindness to others is so important. Being mean can momentarily make you feel good, but being kind makes you feel better for longer.
In fact, being kind in your words and actions can change who you are permanently.
You draw happier, more positive people to you, and your life becomes even better. You dont spend your days finding differences in others that make you feel special, you find the ways that you are the same as others and celebrate them.
The better you feel, the kinder you become. That is the virus that we should spread as far as we can and to as many as possible.
Before you speak ask yourself this. Is it true? Is it inspiring, helpful, necessary, or kind? If not, keep it to yourself and move on.
Stay connected to the stories and events that make your community a special place to call home.
Subscriptions start at $14.90/month.View subscription options
- Unmatched coverage of Allen County’s local news and sports, a tradition dating back to 1867
- Compelling portraits of our residents, experienced reporting and thoughtful analysis
- Unlimited online access to iolaregister.com and our archives