Wasting our lives and glorifying God

Wasting our lives and glorifying God
Notice God's unutterable waste of saints, according to the judgment of the world. God plants His saints in the most useless places. We say - God intends me to be here because I am so useful. Jesus never estimated His life along the line of the greatest use. God puts His saints where they will glorify Him, and we are no judges at all of where that is. ~Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest, August 10

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Courtesy, Tact, Kindness, and Restraint. A joint obituary.

"Here lies four close friends: Courtesy, Tact, Kindness, and Restraint.  They died together a slow agonizing death on the battlefield of the virtual world.  They are survived by their nasty archenemies: Callousness, Nosiness, Meanness and Insensitivity."

Lately I have been just appalled at the things people say on the internet.  Oh, I know it's not a new thing, but the lack of manners seems to have reached new epic proportions.  Lovely people who would never say such horrible things if they were face-to-face with you think nothing of insulting you on the internet.  Language that used to be reserved for the bedroom now appears on Facebook statuses.  Bitter barbs no one would dare say to their husbands, bosses, pastors or neighbors are blogged as if these people are not real.

A recent caller to the Laura Ingraham show expounded on this cultural phenomenon.  He was a military man who said that they use simulators to train soldiers in combat.  He said that this has a two fold purpose:  First of all, the video games improve hand-eye coordination.  Secondly, these "games" desensitize the soldiers to the humanity of the enemy.  A psychologist affirmed that this was true and encouraged parents to monitor and limit their children's exposure to social media, texting, etc.  People are forgetting that in these mediums they are interacting with real people and not just an avatar of a person.

Although I love blogging, Facebook and the like, I do find the insensitivity of people so disturbing that I tend to agree with the Ingraham caller and the psychologist.

Lately a friend going through a difficult time put something in her Facebook status asking for prayer.  Instead she got a barrage of comments of people putting her and her husband in their place and chewing them out.    Then a debate erupted with meanness flowing both ways.  She was an innocent bystander on her own Facebook profile!  Would that have happened in real life?  If she were face-to-face with her friends and said, "Please pray for our family because of XYZ."  The response would have probably just been, "OK, will do, honey."  But because no one saw her as flesh and blood with tender feelings it got ugly.

Last week I blogged in a light-hearted way about party etiquette.  I mentioned no particulars--no names, locations or specifics and changed the exact details of some happenings to protect anyone who had become an anecdote in my etiquette lesson.  Someone left an anonymous comment:  "Since your talking about teaching your kids well...Here's a little advice for you....How about teaching your kids how behave at these parties!" I felt like someone had slapped me!  First of all, I was talking about how adults (not children!) behave and by leaving such a vicious remark the person pretty much confirmed my point about not having social sense.  Secondly, I'm a Mama Bear!  How dare you attack my children!  Trust me, when you bring up my children the gloves will come off!  And thirdly, I could not be more proud of how my children behave at parties and social events. 

After a few deep breaths my blood pressure returned to normal and I didn't publish the comment.  I saved it and I think I will now publish it.  And maybe the cowardly "Anonymous" will see this response.  The fact that this mean-spirited comment was anonymous just goes to show that people forget that these are real people interacting with real people.  Face-to-face you could never say a vicious, risque, sassy or otherwise charged comment and remain anonymous.  Being face-to-face forces people to own their opinions, their actions, and their words.

Maybe Courage is another causality in the battlefield of the virtual world.  But, I sure hope not.  And courage is a kindred spirit to kindness, not the opposite, by the way.

Well, to paraphrase myself: "All this to say, Mommies, teach your children well.  Teach them how to behave on the internet and in texts so that when they grow up they don't embarrass themselves or make others feel awkward, hurt or angry.  As our social interactions include more and more technology, may your mantra be, "Kindness matters!"


Anonymous said...

I just feel if your giving advice I would give you some too.By the way,you are personally attacking people because you are naming specific events and I'm sure that's hurting peoples' feelings.Oh and although you said it was a candid post it was still disrespectful to peoples' character.Okay so you say your a mother bear, how do think you made the mother bear of these adult children at the (party) feel,since you did say these people weren't raised with social sense? I think you should you should use a little bit of tact yourself when writing about people.

Joshswife said...

So true...
Love ya!

celeste said...

I agree we need to be careful what we post and remember not to say anything we wouldn't if the person was right there and more importantly if Jesus was standing there.

Anonymous said...

This person who made the anonymous comment must be less than 50 years old... cos us 50-somethings have no problem whatsoever saying what we think and signing our name to it afterward. :-)

That's probably one of the most beautiful things about being over 50... I never say anything to anyone, via the typed word, that I wouldn't say to their face. Seldom will a 50-something do that. At least not in my circle of 50-somethings anyway.

Andy Rooney's piece about women over 50 describes me to a tee. I think he wrote it just for me & didn't even know it. :-)


Gombojav Tribe said...


This blog is for my opinions, which sometimes includes advice, based on my own perceptions and life experiences. Reading it is purely voluntary. If you don't like my advice, there is no requirement for you to read it.

I do not know who you are, but there are ways to find out. I could track you through my blog tracker and find even the exact address from which you posted your comments. But, I won't. But, I can. But, I won't. At least not now......

I will however not publish anonymous comments in the future. So, man-up and identify yourself or fade into blogdom.

God bless you and yours with social graces....even on the internet.

“Anonymity is the enemy of civility.” Seth Godin

"We already know that anonymous letters are despicable. In etiquette, as well as in law, hiring a hit man to do the job does not relieve you of responsibility." Judith Martin

Gombojav Tribe said...

@Joshswife, I love you, too!

@Celeste, Amen!

@Andrea, I saw that you posted something from Andy Rooney on your blogspot, but didn't have time to read it. I just came back to it and it's gone. :-( Blog getting a make-over and will reappear later? I hope so!

Gombojav Tribe said...


I received your message, but as you didn't identify yourself it cannot be posted. Rules are rules! :-)

Lady Dorothy said...

So ironic that anyone would actually argue this post. And just so "Anonymous" knows, it is very unlikely that the mother of the adult children was there and so knows nothing of the matter. If she did and was there, a good mother would say, "Hey, be courteous and restrain yourself!" :-)

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