I can’t say I enjoy reading many of the social articles around the web these days, or at least those articles that make it to the top — you know? Like when you read an article on medium and it has over fifty-thousand views.
The fact of the matter is, emotions sell views, and negative emotions are at the top of that list. Ever wonder why the news is always so glum? Every wonder why the newspapers talk more about the impeding mortal disasters awaiting us all rather than the good stuff that happens on a daily basis?
My manager once told me that bad news travels at least a hundred times faster than good news. It’s why I was constantly asked to get feedback from my service users and regularly make sure their needs were met. One bad experience could snowball into something disastrous. People warn others fast. Negativity is a trend.
Bad news travels so much faster because humans are primally wired to look out for the bad in any given situation. It’s how we survived back when we hunted for our food and nested in caves. The world was dangerous and could kill us at any given moment. We had to have super alert senses of danger. But alas we don’t have that kind of danger anymore — and as the world has evolved then humans in it have done this also. Now we are not so much looking for threats to our lives, but more so looking to protect our territories. When we see this threat we immediately alert those closest to us, and thus begins a disastrous domino effect of alerting negativity around us. It’s like when birds call to each other when there are predators in the garden.
It’s how bad news sells.
I’ve never been one to jump on the band wagon of negativity. I like to think I have a rather uniquely positive (and sometimes naive) perspective on how the world is. I would rather not sacrifice this for the sake of more views, and more popularity. I started writing to be a solution to problems in this world rather than a clog in the gears of the media negativity train.
Why am I talking about this? Well, a lady that I admire on the Good Men Project posted the video below and asked for our thoughts on it. What did we all think (as men) on what this lady was talking about?
Personally, I think her points were valid. ALL men believe they are doing good regardless if this “good” is beneficial to them or not, or perceived as “good” by other people. This is what we call subjective morality. All of us have this subjective perception, and it is definitely not limited to men.
But where lays the fault in what the lady was telling us. She tells us that women in general should hold the final judgement on men’s subjective morality. Whilst this was an honourable thought it would not be practical because it would first require that women are unified in their morals to be able to pass judgement on men. We know this not to be the case or the same president in America would win every election. Women outnumber men as far as I’m aware, and, guided by their unified subjective morality would vote the same way each and every time.
Her idea would have been far more effective if she had laid out a few of her mistakes in life, however grand they may have been. Rather than a preachy attack at men, and the men in the audience switching off because she is acting threatening, preachy, and accusing (remember threat to territories we talked about earlier?), she would have been far better off asking people to join her in her journey (in my opinion.)
Like me, right? I wasn’t born perfect.
I didn’t come out of my mothers womb as a bastion of male morality for others to hold up as a way to live their lives. No, I needed to make HUGE mistakes and take those lessons away and learn from them.
At 14 I learned that it wasn’t a good idea to grab woman’s boobs. The woman I grabbed punched me square in the nose and I fell backwards. The onslaught was duly deserved because from there on I learned to keep my clunky hands to myself.
At 18 I learned that words can hurt men. The men that were laughing with me as I made fools of them were slowly dying inside through veiled smiles of comradery. This was highly evident as I, myself died inside later and there were literally zero people that wanted to be around me.
At 27 I realised for my whole life I had been a manipulative predator. I would prey on the conscience of my friends and family to get what I wanted. I had unwritten contracts with women that I liked romantically, “if only they would have seen me for who I truly were, then they would have gone into a relationship with me.” — it was a shitshow, but being aware of this helped me rectify it.
I could do this all day. My mistakes have been plentiful and disastrous. I write about being a recovered man but like anyone else I’m still prone to sticking my foot in my mouth on a regular basis. Sometimes I just want to hide under the bed covers, you know?
But I’m trying to be better. Not trying to be better in a way that’s popularly discussed in the media. Men are looking to make the world a better place for women. In turn they are trying to better themselves for women.
I’m not. I’m trying to be better for me.The rest will come naturally.
As I grow as a person then I will become a better person to be around. When I quit drinking in 2006 the people I was living with had already said it is over 1000% better living with you now. I get better as I learn from my mistakes.
The lady in that video clip would have been better taking this approach. She would have gained more attention with her relatable life choices and how she plans to build on them rather than pointing a judgemental finger. I’m sure already with my brutal honesty I have whisked you back on a journey to all of your mistakes a how you’ve become a better person. This to me is how we define subjective morality. We keep moving the goal posts to a better position. We build on ourselves and change our views as we become better people for it.
One of my favourite quotes from the bible, even although I’m not religious is this:
“Let he that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.”
Life is about focusing on yourself and building on that. Everything else is just a distraction.