The Trolls, Bullies and Me – Where do we differ?
Many of us encounter bullying and being trolled online. This article is about why they may do it and difference between us.
I follow a few magazines and newspapers on my facebook account. When I read some news or articles and have a view I care to share, I noticed something. As soon as I post it in the comments thread, like ants coming running towards sugar, a bunch of trolls comment on my comment, call me names and put me down. Well, they think they are putting me down. More often than not, I ignore them because I cannot change the world. At times, depending on what they put, if I feel they crossed a boundary, I would state that clearly.
Recently similar incident happened. It made me think of how quickly people hide behind screes and use keyboard to spew venom on others. I wondered what made them think they had the right to do so. I also wondered if it was a debate in the physical world, would these people use the same words they had typed? Would they use the same language in person or tell the same things to a stranger on road? The chances of them doing it in person, I would like to think, is very slim. Just because it is the cyber world, many think they can attack others because they have a different view about something. It showed me why so many succumb to these bullies.
In one instance, some trolls chose to shame me by bringing up the community they thought I belonged to. I do not attach any importance to the community but it is infact them that assumed that I think I am superior. See the problem? They make assumptions about the community and about my thinking and in the end they claim to be the good ones.
It was this incident that led me to an insight. If they saw what I saw, they would not be such bullies. They are one thought away from being decent, civil and kind adults. One thought away from having the ability to have a healthy debate despite disagreements. Here is that thought – we are only different in form; in the formless state, we are the same. We are all connected and are part of this vast universe. What is in me, is in you and them.
But, why are they not able to see it that way? Are we conditioned to look at differences and is it so strong that we cannot see the huge amount of commonality between all of us? Is it possible that promoting diversity and accepting differences, though well meaning, made us unconsciously shift the focus to the differences? Whether it is gender, race, colour, sexual preference etc. we seem to look to differentiate and then say all are welcome. Instead, could we not be trained to see the oneness. Could we not learn to see the oneness beyond the difference in the form? Is our view so superficial, literally just skin deep?
After this insight came, I felt a calmness in me. I felt sorry for the trolls. There is no way I am supporting their actions and certainly when boundaries are crossed it is unacceptable. However, they are probably acting as best as they can in the level of awareness they are at.
The inside out living means my experience comes from within me. So, these trolls cannot affect me. However, most people do not live like that. It is easy for others to get into our heads and affect our reality. When people approach me for coaching, it is important for me to shine the light on where our experience comes from. This understanding helps us cut bulk of the noise.
When conversing with people, in physical world or cyber world, could we make an effort to see what we have in common? It will then give us a great starting point to discuss where we are different while keeping in mind that the difference is only outward, not inward. When people force others to think the same way as they think, they are denying us of our nature. When looking outside, we see the world through a lens each of us create and there is richness in this. It may not suit your narrative or view but that is how we operate.
Let us learn to embrace the oneness and understand that the difference is only at the surface.