There’s a debate going on where I live regarding politicians salaries and pensions/benefits. The public reaction seems to be largely one of scorn perceiving politicians to be getting too much (money, benefits etc.) for too little ‘blood, sweat, and tears’. None of the outraged people giving their scornful opinions have stopped to examine where their fury comes from. What I have discerned is “Joe Public” is being treated unfairly and wants “Joe Politician” to be treated equally unfairly; instead, why doesn’t the average guy/gal get angry about their own situation and be happy someone else is being treated decently? The only conclusion I can reach is “Joe Public” can’t/won’t change his own unfair situation so looks to tear down the easiest target-a public figure often responsible for policies and laws few people appreciate.
I have noticed when people feel they are in unfair positions they opt to bring others down with them when it’s perceived someone isn’t ‘suffering enough’. This goes for situations outside of politics too. For example, in my family there are people who see me as not pulling my weight because I haven’t got a paid job. Do they stop and wonder why I don’t have a paid job? No. Do they ask me directly about anything? No. Instead, they give me their uninvited opinions and try to shame me into doing what they think is ‘right’ by the standards of mainstream culture they’ve uncritically digested and internalised.
When people have grown up being treated poorly and don’t bother to critique what happened to them they end up rationalising the situation. They find reasons for what occurred to be acceptable in some way; thus anyone else who comes along daring to inquire further into the situation finds themselves the target of an attack. How dare someone actually seek to know why something happened?! How dare anyone question the accepted norm and make another uncomfortable for choosing to stay in the dark?! It sounds ridiculous when you actually say it but some people would prefer staying in the dark because it’s familiar and comfortable in that sense.
If you want to really question anything you need to be prepared for some people taking their misery out on you. If they are suffering and you aren’t yet they think you should then Heaven help you. I have not had an easy life by any means yet family members that don’t even live with me or talk to me more than once or twice a year think I’m spoiled! Why? Because I am unemployed and live with my dad. I don’t live in the lap of luxury or sit around playing video games but they likely think I do because they don’t ask me. They’re more comfortable passing judgement on me than they are trying to see if I have challenges they don’t know of. All they see in their mind is a woman with more education than they have who isn’t employed, thus I must be lazy. Well sh*t that is pretty lousy reasoning or logic if you ask me but none of my family ever does who pass their judgement.
Have you noticed this phenomenon in mainstream Western culture? That is, people who are miserable trying to make others as miserable as they are? I would like to know if anyone has noticed this and do you think it’s normal or not? My opinion is it’s NOT normal or healthy.
©Natalya, 2014. Reflections On Life Thus Far®