Thursday, April 7, 2011

My Own Ridiculist

I used to have respect for Anderson Cooper, regarding him as an ambitious and up-and-coming journalist.  This has changed since he debuted his "Ridiculist".  Cooper's Ridiculist is basically a segment on his show where he criticizes and sheds light on various people and issues, but often the focus is on people in the media themselves.  And while most of the time the people he is focusing on are people that tend to annoy me as well, or people that I also find to be ridiculous, there is just something about the idea behind and delivery of this segment that rubs me the wrong way.  The way in which he goes about his criticism is more along the lines of Perez Hilton or the National Enquirer, and is becoming further and further distanced from respectable journalism.  It's unnecessary cattiness.  I doubt Anderson Cooper would say these things directly to their faces - it's all for the ratings.  He should be on his own Ridiculist.

And then I realized that this is something I have some personal experience with.  Our mothers always told us growing up, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."  Let's be honest- this piece of advice is just not realistic.  We ALL have our opinions, and they're not always nice.  Myself included.  I think a more grown-up and realistic version of this bit of wisdom is:

"If you wouldn't say something about someone directly to their face, don't say it at all." 

That's my personal philosophy.

As I was pondering my dislike for Cooper's "Ridiculist" this evening during my shower, my train of thought led me to start considering "haters" (I dislike even using that word) in general, and how people so often bash other people because they disagree with or do not understand the way they are choosing to behave, appear, speak, write, ect.  I began thinking about how people gossip, how in general (in my experience) people seem to be more naturally inclined to judge or dislike another person without reason than the opposite - having a curious and open mind towards the other less-understood person in a positive way.  Why is this so?  Why are we so quick to hate towards other people instead of embracing new people and everything that comes with them?  Instead of being open, very often people administer scowls, sharp words and cold shoulders their way.  Hate is very often nurtured by a lack of understanding for something or someone, and it is also often confused with jealousy.  I believe we'd all be richer in every aspect of our lives if we were more open minded.  In fact - I believe that those who are genuinely open minded about new ideas, people or experiences have a significant advantage over those who don't in every way, and those who don't take up the majority of the population, in my experience.  We should all be consistently reminding ourselves to be less closed minded in life.  You will get ahead by living parallel to this idea.  This is one of my go-to personal rules for myself - something that I am constantly working towards achieving.  I wrote a post a while back about "grey areas" in life - and I think that train of thought is woven into this one as well.  

The part that I take issue with the most is how sometimes people tend to silently judge others, and then act or speak on it in a surreptitious way.  I know I am outspoken, and I know I can be harsh.  But, I'm real.  And I do take pride in that.  I know I make some people cringe.  I know my willingness to expose myself is part of the reason why people are drawn to me. With me, what you see is what you get.  And that's something I think we could all take pride in.


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