Are You Reacting To Things Properly?

A couple of days ago I got included into a conversation on Google Plus that had nothing to do with me. I was included because the topic was something this person figured I would know something about, and based on some of the comments on the post I know she figured someone had to give a dose of reality, and it was going to be me. lol

What’s your reaction
to me holding this baby?

The post began with a guy saying he’d created a phone app that would help those who downloaded it find black businesses for services they needed. He said if it went over well that he could develop it for other types of ethnic businesses later on.

Almost immediately the conversation broke down between white and black lines, with white people saying they didn’t understand why such a thing was needed and that it was racist (way off the mark; obviously don’t know the definition of racism) and black people defending it saying they thought it was a great idea and could hardly wait to use it.

I left my comment with statistics and a dose of reality because that’s how I roll. I complimented the guy for creating the app and said that if he could make it work for other groups that would be a good thing as well. Eventually the statement came that I knew was coming because it always comes: “When will someone create an app for white businesses?” I responded directly to that one by saying “They did; it’s called every other app in the world!”

This isn’t a post to debate whether it’s a racial thing or not, and I hope that doesn’t end up being the only response it gets, like my last post only got responses about diabetics and the like because I mentioned diabetes. Instead, it’s a post that questions when and where people decide to get mad and upset at things and wonders if sometimes people go over the edge because they have other things going on at that moment, or just because they don’t know any better.

A case in point is the Sandy Hook shooting back in December. On that day, some nutcase, who had already killed his mother, walked into an elementary school and shot 20 children and six adults before taking his best shot and shooting himself in the head. A horrible tragedy that I’m sure anyone would agree to. But within a day the situation had devolved into a discussion of whether there should be more or no gun control; little about the kids and teachers who lost their lives. The same type of reaction and discussion came after the Boston Marathon bombing and there weren’t even any guns on that day.

Then early this week there was a video of a phone call (sounds weird but many of you might already know about this) where a guy had ordered a pizza from Papa John’s in his hometown (same town where Trayvon Martin was killed) and got a mistaken call from the guy who delivered it where the guy was saying all sorts of racist stuff about the guy, complaining that he “only” got a $5 tip on a $14 order (that’s a great tip by the way) and ranted and sang racial epithets for about 4 1/2 minutes, all left on this guy’s phone.

He put up the video, really didn’t comment on it when he did it, and it went viral. When the comments came, some were in support of him but at least 35% to 40% were against him saying he was looking for publicity or money or that he should have handled it quietly instead of putting it out in the open like that. Of course the racists came out and called him and all the rest of us (including me) all sorts of names.

What about the baby’s
reaction looking at me?

I thought about the different types of reactions and how it seems this world has gotten so polarized that even when one thinks the entire world will know the difference between what’s right and what’s wrong it seems that we don’t know each other all that well at all. Some of the things we react to are either overblown or unnecessary; why is that?

I’ve been working hard in 2013 to reduce the amount of noise that comes my way that could possibly stress me out. In a post I wrote about the Dr. King Holiday back in January I mentioned that I was working towards personal peace and had stopped watching the news. I also stopped following a few people on Twitter and blocking certain topics on Facebook that were more inflaming than I wanted in my life.

I still know what’s going on in the world but I now get to decide how much effort I’m going to put into knowing it all. Therefore, I know nothing about Jody Arias except she was found guilty, I know there have been horrible tornadoes but I’ve kept myself from obsessing about them (especially since I’m consulting in an area known for tornadoes; oh joy), and I have no real idea what’s happening regarding the sequester (nope, not a thing).

I’ve found that my reactions to most things are pretty much in line with how I used to be before I became an information monster. It’s suiting me well, and I’m happy with how things are working out. Will there be the occasional time where I’m going to go off on something? Sure; after all, I have blogging and videos to put out right? Have to be interesting in some fashion.

Some folks might think this is the same type of thing I talked about in my post on reacting to potential negativity but it’s not. In this instance I’m not saying everything that people react to badly is negative; just their reactions might be. We all need to take more time to evaluate some situations, some news, some commentary, and some blog posts to make sure what we say fits what’s really going on.

And then maybe there won’t be reactions to what someone writes like some of what I got back when I wrote this post years ago on the topic of modesty; now there was a case of some folks personalizing something that I never saw coming. πŸ™‚ By the way, if you like this post please share it in your social media spaces; I think it’s a topic worth exploring further and I always forget to ask for the share.

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35 thoughts on “Are You Reacting To Things Properly?”

  1. I have already commented on you and the baby, so shall refrain from duplicating except to say that the photograph is beautiful as is the baby. Don’t push me any further okay?

    Action / Reaction situation is not only on racial grounds, now it is also on one major religious grounds. I am reacting to Islamic terrorism as you can see from some of my recent blog posts. This is a matter of quite some concern for me and many other Indians as we have two neighbours with very hostile elements within their territories creating problems for us. I cannot but react every time there is an outrage somewhere.

    I expect that your last paragraph is meant for your USA based readership and shall not respond.
    Rummuser recently posted..Woolwich Again II.My Profile

    1. Rummuser, the second paragraph is for everyone as it’s not only an American thing. As for the rest, we all get to decide how were going to react to everything that comes our way. Some things are worth it, some things are, and as long as we concentrate on the things that actually are and will be at more peace in our lives than normal.

  2. There are days when it feels that our country is moving backwards instead of forward. I am sure that is not the case, it is just a situation for a long time I think a lot of the racism was masked. Personally, I think people over reacted to things. We live in a country that has so much violence and craziness because we don’t want to step on anyone’s “freedom” of speak, choice or whatever the favor of the times will be there. People are dying every day from gunshot wombs, women and children are being kidnapped and you can not let your children really play outside anymore.

    For the person who created the app. Bravo for that person. If someone what to shop at black owner business only isn’t that the same as having the privileges that our country has been debating like gun control, gay marriages and such.

    In a time where there seems to be so much turmoil, aren’t there more important things to overact to than whether we should segregate apps?

    1. Thanks for joining in the conversation Cynthia. I tend to think that things such as race relations, religion, and politics often garner a lot of bad feelings across the board. Even something like this video shows the type of polarization there can be on what I felt should have been a straightforward response from an overwhelming majority. As I get older I try to bring some perspective to my reactions before I do or say something I shouldn’t, even if my first wished-for reaction is to want to pimp slap someone. Lol

  3. Wow, that’s unbelievable Mitch that someone would question it, maybe they had nothing better to do. It amazes me that it is 2013 and these types of conversations still go on.
    You are right not to obsess over all the news. I watch less myself now and try to keep things lighter and be more stress free. Not that I want to live in a black hole but some things we have not control over. Live is too short!

  4. It might be a good idea, but there is always but it might not be feasible. I have had a similar conversation few years a go with a guy that doesn’t have a clue about mobile app development and especially related to LBS or ethnic related applications. Thought, to create that kind of resource, a shared resources should be used, technically pulled from another resource, like Google maps, but the odd part is that pulling the data will pull the rest of the services. Additionally development of that kind of thing is not a job for one man band or even a group of capable developers.
    Carl recently posted..Channel 13 Baltimore News and Americas YouthMy Profile

    1. Actually Carl, I’m not sure whether it’s a good idea or not, although I could see its benefits. However, this really wasn’t about the act as much as it was about some of the reactions that people had against the guy who put the video up. All he was doing was sharing something that happened to him, and people who are predisposed to be hateful came out in droves. It was nice to see people voting those racist down so that their comments eventually disappeared.

  5. Interesting article Mitch, however almost all discussion in regard with this topic ( white – black folks) will degenerate into a racist issue.
    It’s still a sensitive issue for what is worth.

    1. But it shouldn’t. However, I used the race example only as a point to begin the conversation. Overall, I think it could’ve been about almost anything and there would’ve been someone who would have taken it wrong and reacted very badly.

  6. I absolutely agree that giving the news a miss is a great idea. I like to know what’s going on in the world so I have a look once a day either online or on tv but I’m careful not to be sucked in by the 24-hour ongoing news anymore. It’s possible I think to be so busy watching the news I can forget I should be making my own instead!

  7. Mitch,
    Here’s my issue: minorities are the ones who are always having to “tread lightly” while whites carry the “big stick!” Kudos to the person who created the app. Sadly, many in white america don’t get it. They dont see the fact that two people doing the same thing can have two completely different results. And it doesn’t have to be about race. It could be male vs. female….blondes vs. brunettes….gay vs. straight,, etc.

    I believe we have become so polarized as a society. Whatever we say can be misinterpreted–depending on the person who is delivering the message.

    I actually teach a workshop, “Did I Say What You Heard?” which is all about how we process communication and language. It’s very eye opening.

    1. Sounds like a very interesting workshop Bev. You know, we are more polarized, and yet younger people think it’s us baby boomers that keep stirring the pot. Well, the guy who made the app wasn’t a baby boomer and neither were the people making the negative comments so they’re all kidding themselves.

      Still, even if we’re on opposite sides of the conversation, not every response or statement deserves a “scream” if you will. Sometimes a reflective statement, a clarifying statement, or just shutting up can work wonders. πŸ™‚

  8. Hey Mitch,

    Reacting to a certain situation or topic is some what normal for all of us. It’s almost inevitable to react on certain topics. We may have the knowledge to back up our reaction or not, people to tend to go and say what they need to say. Whether it’s racism or religion or any sensitive topics, people will always have their own thoughts and reaction towards anything that they think is important to react upon. It depends on how we understand the situation which is mainly the basis for our reaction though. If we could only control ourselves on every situation, then I guess it’s more secure to react. But not everyone has the capability to that so reactions still varies on what they think is right which pretty sums up why we argue sometimes on small things.
    Farrell Conejos recently posted..One Piece Vs ZombiesMy Profile

    1. True words Farrell. I think we’re all in different places when we have to deal with stuff like this. I have times when I react badly to everything, then other times when I’m cool, calm and collected no matter what. Strange life we all lead at times.

  9. Interesting and thought provoking topic Mitch. I once heard the saying “you cant please everyone so you may as well begin with yourself”. Personally, I’ve kind of given up trying to fix things or change things; whether thats right or wrong, and focus on doing the things which make me happy.

  10. Mitch, we’ve talked a lot about invisibility. Racism and discrimination are invisible to anyone who isn’t on the receiving end, so when they hear the complaints, they literally don’t understand them. Also, the people behaving in ways that are racist and discriminatory don’t see their actions that way. They justify everything they say and do with carefully-selected and often distorted facts and opinions. There are evil people in the world, but no one ever identifies himself as evil. You mentioned the Marathon bombers — I have no doubt that they believed what they were doing was right. We may never know what was going on in the mind of the Newtown shooter, but I’d guess he saw himself on some kind of noble mission. I think this is why racism is still with us, and may be with us forever. We keep trying to teach people that it’s wrong, but most people already know that. The real racists don’t know they’re racists.

    1. Great stuff Charles, and that’s an interesting way to look at things. I believe that for the most part, people don’t know that they’re being racist or insensitive. But there are those few who really do know and don’t care, and all are trolls, online as well as offline. They hide behind anonymity and think they’re making some kind of difference when all they’re doing is reinforcing how stupid they are. Sad but it’s life right? Still, maybe baby steps will eventually get it done.

  11. Hey Mitch,

    I’ll start by saying that’s an adorable baby and you look so darn cute holding it. Who doesn’t love babies right!

    I quit watching the news probably about six years ago now. I don’t pay attention to what’s in the news. People have told me that I need to be up on what’s happening. Why? It doesn’t involve me, it’s out of my control and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. Am I being ignorant? Absolutely not. My Mom definitely let’s me know what’s happening in the world today and of course we run across it while online whether we want to or not. I just choose to go about my business.

    There have been numerous times I’ve said things that have been taken the wrong way. To me it’s the state of mind the other person is in that takes in that way so as that old saying goes it’s how you “react” to it that matters.

    I just prefer staying positive everyday and I’ll keep those people in my prayers who have been harmed in some way or for the families of those who have lost their lives. But by me bitching about it is only doing me harm and no one else.

    I applaud you for taking this route and you’ll find that you’re a much happier person Mitch. We can only do so much my friend, only so much.

    You enjoy your day now that you’re aren’t reading everything that’s wrong with this world. πŸ˜‰

    Adrienne recently posted..Results Revealed From My Opt-In Box TestMy Profile

    1. Thank you Adrienne, and six years away from the news; wow! One thing I probably do need to start doing is checking out the weather; I keep getting caught off guard when the bad stuff comes.

      Just today I had a reaction from someone else to something on Facebook that was totally misplaced. I thought about addressing it and all sorts of reactions popped into my mind. Instead, I decided to just unfriend the guy and move on, which was actually one of his suggestions. I don’t have to be sorry for someone else making a mistake and then taking something I said, which was only one sentence in the wrong way. Now, there’s a book called Crucial Conversations that I wrote about some years ago that teaches us how to handle delicate topics when it’s necessary but in this case I didn’t feel it was necessary. That’s where I hope I’ve grown up some; I’m not getting dragged into a fray that shouldn’t have been to begin with.

  12. I loved your responce to the β€œWhen will someone create an app for white businesses?” I responded directly to that one by saying β€œThey did; it’s called every other app in the world!” – that’s just what i’d have said too πŸ™‚

    People shouldn’t take offence to minorities been self-relieant – it’s the way of the world – the app creator saw a gap in the market and has filled it – as you said correctly white business – have always had this on lock down(mmm)

    1. Thanks Adam. The one thing I’ll always take a position on is racism, or diversity issues in general. Sometimes people just need to think a little bit before they spout stuff that someone else will say makes no sense. You’re right, this guy found a “need” and offered a solution to it; that’s brilliant. And he’s ready to open it up to other groups as well; even more brilliance.

      1. Yes Mitch am glad you agree – all you hear these days – is theres a gap in the market – so lets get them filled!

  13. Confession time: Yep, it was your’s truly who pulled Mitch into the discussion he mentions at the beginning of this article. Suffice it to say, just like he said, I knew he’d inject facts, figures and a dose of reality!

    Now, Mitch, you’re absolutely correct in thinking people tend to overreact, react inappropriately or disproportionate to the subject at hand. Some of this results from leading with “the heart” (but what’s in the heart?). And surely, some of it has to stem from the demise of “thinking,” especially thinking before one speaks.

    Can’t blame you for reducing those things that cause you to stress. Maybe stress is more the true reason than what’s in the heart or lack of thinking?

    1. I wasn’t going to out you Vernessa but you’re right, it’s all your fault! lol

      That’s another interesting thought, their stress. I’ll say that no, I don’t think it’s their stress as much as their potential fear of losing what they know is the edge they’ve had since… well, forever. I hear the clamor of “we’re losing our rights in our own country” and that makes absolutely no sense when you look at the numbers. All it says is that they have no confidence in being able to compete on a level playing field; too bad right?

  14. Hi Mitch, the very concept of right and wrong is relative, it all depends on our view point. The fact is what seems right to me, might not seem the same to you, and we would disagree. We come across this on a daily basis, what matters to me is to stick to what I feel is correct, and at the same time let others support what they feel correct. I don’t think someone will change his/her viewpoint because others don’t think its correct.

    1. You might be right Joe, but you also might be wrong. I think of someone like Dick Cheney (goodness, someone slap me with a wet trout quickly!) who was against gay marriage and everything else until his daughter came out as being gay. It seems that if it’s important enough people will change their minds; sometimes we might have to figure out what’s important enough. In the meantime we might need to figure out how to channel ourselves when faced with bad behavior.

  15. i believe all the activities we do in present are always in debt for d sake of our future generation Mitch, at least we give all d love to them, n d first word should be HOPE, yes, for a stronger n happier generation..

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