Couch Cat: Easter wish – let’s be nicer to each other

18 April 2019
Author   Jackie Wilson Asheeke
Try a little tenderness by Otis Redding is one of my favourite songs. While that tune is a sexy song about a man’s love and passion for a woman, its words, altered a bit, can apply to the way we SHOULD be dealing with one another.  Let’s all be nicer to each other; not just at Easter time but always. 
Times are hard; things are disappointing us all.  To varying degrees, most of us are scared of something, forced out of our comfort zones, confused and worried.  Let’s recognize that and give a smile instead of a frown; give a hug instead of a slap; or just leave people alone rather than teasing and taunting them. 
In this Instagram, Facebook, Messenger, Snapchat world, the phrase:  “Mind your own business” has lost some of its meaning.  We all have opinions about everything and the internet is fuelling our inner ‘voyeur’.  People post comments or Tweets about every little thing someone does or says - and these snipes can be daggers to the heart and mind.
I heard a news story on an American news program interviewing a loathsome woman who feels it is her duty to walk up to people that she considers ‘fat’ and tell them that being obese will kill them.  She joyfully defended her fascism by saying she was ‘helping’ save people’s lives by telling them their fat is deadly.  If I could have reached through my streaming mechanism, I would have slapped that heifer.  Who died and left her in charge of the world?
The old days of letting people stew in their own juices or live on their own terms are passing.  But, what is the new line between demanding that someone ‘share’ their pain and problems and being intrusive, hurtful and nosey? 
My Mom used to say, “A burden shared, is a burden halved.”  My daddy used to say, “A secret best kept is one never told.”  Which is true?  I struggle with this and usually decide to keep my own counsel as I have been badly burned by being too frank with people that have secret agendas or who misinterpret what I have said.  I’d bet that most people hold things inside too.  What happens when things held in, become too much?  We need people around us to be nicer so that we can ease the pressure and express our feelings more openly.
Why is it that people calmly choose to be confrontational?  Why choose to make someone else miserable?  I say a prayer sometimes for God to save us from people who cannot feel happy unless someone else is sad. We all know people like this.
These are people who live just to get under someone’s skin.  They cannot stand to see others getting along; it bothers them when there is peace, quiet and joy in the room. They see someone crying and choose that moment to tell them their breath stinks or that they clothes they have on are unfashionable. 
These trolls have a need to throw the fox in the hen house and stir things up, but ironically, they are actually thin-skinned, insecure hypocrites. They get a perverse joy when they cause trouble for others and yet they bristle and seek petty revenge against anyone who steps on their toes.
In these tough economic times, people are going through the emotional pits – there can be despair, inner turmoil, personal crises, fear, hopeless and a sense of being overwhelmed.   That person that you bully, criticize, make fun of, and tease may be going through an inner, personal hell you cannot imagine.  The results of selfish needling can be devastating for all involved.  So, please people, try a little tenderness - take my grandmother’s advice, “If you can’t say somethin’ nice, then don’t say nothin’ at all.”


The Windhoek Observer is an English-language weekly newspaper, published in Namibia by Paragon Investment Holding. It is the country's oldest and largest circulating weekly.

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