We often wonder why people are so cold, but at the same time we applaud and reward the very behavior we question.
Current television shows (which, like it or not, are a gauge of a society's "cultural" leanings) are more popular when they have the meanest, most ignorant, snarkiest people showcased. "American Idol" has Simon Cowell, right? (And I am not bashing him, but his "honest" and oftentimes hurtful critiques are a centerpiece of the show.) I was kind of stunned to see a show all about a "Bad Girls Club." I mean, really? Seriously? Yep. There are fan pages up for them all overr.
One show that I am guilty of watching on a pretty regular basis (mostly with the same horrified fascination that I watch strange things happen in grocery stores or at public events) is "The Real Housewives." All of them - New York, Atlanta and, my all-time favorite, Orange County. This is a show where members are replaced if they don't create enough crazy strife & drama. (The latest "Housewife" to exit on the O.C. version is Jeanna. She didn't want to play with the "mean girls" anymore. Hah! Good for her is what I say. But I will be watching to see if she pops up on another Bravo show - say, Jeanna of Beverly Hills...)
It's not just in the "entertainment" arena where negative behavior is rewarded. In the workplace, in order to succeed (not all the time, but mostly so), you have to be a little bit brutal to gain respect. People with any kind of sensitivity or a lack of experience in dealing with cut-throats are looked at as not having a "thick skin." And look out if you try to keep a positive attitude. Do that and you might get confronted by a superior asking "Why are you so damn happy all the time?" (True story, by the way.) And the worst of it? If you insist on not being a jerk for the sake of appearances, a lot of people find your positive outlook suspect. *smh*
So, next time you wonder why this can be a mean, cold world, just remind yourself that we get what we ask for.
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