Against the people | Vanburen

An interesting dilemma is at hand.

On the one hand, people. I like people. One of the reasons I love journalism is that it gives me a chance to interact with people. I hear their stories, I hear what they are talking about, I can connect those stories to other stories with the aim of making sense of it all and sharing it with other people.

Some of the people in the interaction don’t like me. (I know, right?) But duty calls me and I interact with them, I explain their side of the story to them in order to plug it into a bigger picture. And even at that, even when it’s one of those who don’t like me, they at least want to put energy into making sure their side of the story is there.

But then I like people.

Well, wait a minute, let me polish that up: I love people overall.

And I can’t say if this tweak, this addendum to the description, is due to me or the human race.

On the one hand, it’s not like I’m getting any younger. Am I becoming a cranky old man? I haven’t started yelling at kids to get out of my lawn yet, but it’s for two big reasons: firstly, I never caught a child on my lawn and secondly, even though I did catch one. child on my lawn, I doubt I would want to spend energy to shout at them.

On the other hand, we seem to be locked in a time when being a jerk is something to be proud of.

The temptation was to type “enter an era”, instead of being locked into an era, but no, we, if I’m not mistaken, entered that era a long time ago, long before today. Oh sure, pride is as old as people, but somewhere in the last few decades (don’t force me to pin it down) doing a big deal of yourself has become a more important thing.

The tipping point, where it has shifted from “people and their egos” to what’s underway today, seems to roughly coincide with various self-help gurus calling on people to “grow their personal brand”.

Because apparently you have to have a brand. (If that helps, I have no idea what my brand is. But when there is “self-help” and “guru” in the description, I ignore it.)

But with that, from that, in response to that, is the “Look at me!” phenomenon. And with that, from that, we get “We have to do things my way or it’s wrong and if it’s wrong it’s not my way and if it’s not my way it’s wrong [rinse, repeat]… .. ”over and over like having a seatmate on a long plane trip who doesn’t know much but doesn’t hesitate to talk about it. It’s just endless.

To narrow it down further: some people are only passionate about one thing and can talk about it for hours. I really treasure them. I don’t have that skill, that mindset, so I focus on just one thing for every waking hour that I admire. I want to hear their story. But, on the other hand, in this group, in this one-topic group, like those who are so angry that they want to make sure you know that they are angry and how important it is that you are as angry as they are. are.

And these people, by and large, I’m really sick of them. Worse, they seem to be increasing in number, like anger sharing works, like it’s a virus or something. And these people, angry attention seekers, they piss me off.

These people I don’t like.

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