Little pep talk, folks, something that’s been on my mind…
Anyone who cares deeply about anything and fights for changes in society will often get people saying to them things like, “You can’t change the world, may as well accept things as they are, make your life easier.” And the even more toxic and false, which is said to vegans and animal activists: “Your living your self-righteous little lifestyle won’t make one bit of difference in the suffering in this world, so you may as well chill out and go have a steak, enjoy life for a change.”
All varieties of those remarks, including, “Just shut up and stop preaching!” are just as maliciously off-putting and hurtful to those who actually care about life and love others unselfishly, and who believe in working towards changes to alleviate the suffering of the world. Those rude remarks are attempts to dominate us, to shut us down and crush our freedom of speech.
So why is this mean discouragement done; why are such people compelled to be so cruel to their fellow humans by telling them their lives’ passions are so much worthless nonsense and they may as well just quit and indulge in behaviors they know are wrong? Personally, I can’t think of anything much more rotten and intending to be destructive, as far as emotional or mental abuse of other people.
Essentially their message is:
“Hey, life’s meaningless except for what I may care about, which is different from you, so why not be a careless, destructive, apathetic slob and bulldoze your way through life having yourself a good old time. Go ahead and trample over the weak or helpless, don’t waste your time or energy concerning yourself with others’ suffering or in trying to solve life’s problems.”
Further, “Hey, be like me, because your do-gooder behavior makes me question my self-worth, and that I don’t like…I believe in always feeling good and that anything can be tolerated…as far as what happens to others…as long as I retain my blissfully careless attitude about it and my good times and high self-esteem remain intact…and as long as I’m not a victim. So screw you and your little bleeding-heart cause, hippy!”
These are basically people who think their attitude about someone else’s suffering makes that suffering acceptable, that reality is all in how you look at things. If you don’t care, then it doesn’t hurt. The implication being that you are all that matters, everyone else is just a backdrop for your existence. It’s a terribly damaged and thereby undeveloped character (the narcissist and/or sociopath) that behaves that way, having no empathy or compassion for others, only for themselves or possibly their own genetic progeny or families, only selfish concerns.
This all brings to my mind the calm, grinning woman here, performing a torturous, sadistic task on a baby goat as if all is well and good:
…I believe that (sweet gentle) woman is the type who exemplifies the topic of this article.
How to cope…
When you get any mean, discouraging speech from someone in your life, realize that it’s meant to do you psychological harm, to make you feel silly, terrible, and hopeless. My advice is to get such people out of your life and continue on working towards the needed improvements you want to see in the world. Either that, or if you must remain connected to that person for some reason, develop a wall against their toxicity, block out and ignore as much as possible, realizing what’s happening, and that you want no part of it to affect you in any negative way. Remain strong and determined. Let them hold onto their toxicity and not expel it onto you to make themselves feel “good.”
For when some encouragement is needed, here are 99 great quotes about never giving up the good fight; listen to these and toss those other people’s nasty messages back into the trash where they came from: