Do You Look Down On Others?

Do You Look Down On Others?

In a touching first person article, Ada Calhoun talks about how she and her friends spent a summer in a photo lab, mostly making fun of the people in the photos.

To be fair, she was 21, and to be fair, we ALL judge people based on appearance and come to false conclusions about them. Hell, in my 20’s, I used to go to bars with my roommate and we’d make up limericks about total strangers just to entertain ourselves since we didn’t have the guts to approach women.

The people you’re making fun of are often a lot happier and better adjusted than you are.

But, there’s often a deep underlying irony when it comes to schadenfreude. Namely that the people you’re making fun of are often a lot happier and better adjusted than you are.

Says Calhoun, “We made fun of the people in the pictures for being desperate, but no one was more desperate than we were. At parties I often pretended to be someone named Amy and occasionally mud-wrestled. I was living with a boyfriend I would later marry and quickly divorce. Stephen frequently confessed to me sordid exploits that even I was shocked by. Richard had sworn off love and sex altogether. We were deeply flawed, unhappy people with lousy lives.”

I know that I was a wiseass kid. I know that I still have a streak of that in me. But I’ve also grown more compassionate and understanding of strangers, and attempt to put myself in their shoes instead of demonizing them. In fact, the only time you’ll see me get a bit agitated in the comments section of this site is when a stranger has taken absolutely no pains to try to understand ME – and resorts to insults, name-calling, or merely asserting that I’m wrong.

So, please, read this short piece about looking down on others and try to look at your fellow citizens through a prism of compassion, instead of scorn.

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  1. 41

    Lucy #41
    It’s too bad that your dad feels that way. I hope you won’t let his opinions have too much influence over you. Doing domestic chores, or even being a stay-at-home dad has nothing to do with a man’s manliness, but more about everyone in a family contributing to the common good. Stick to your beliefs and I’m sure you’ll find a supportive man.

  2. 42

    [email protected], that’s news to me!   I wish that the world were different but, as Evan covered in another thread, the dating world isn’t colorblind, unfortunately.   Most of the white men I’ve encountered on mainstream dating sites such as either screen me out immediately for not being white, or are a “fetishist” who only likes me for his stereotypes of what he thinks Asian women are like (a small percentage were genuinely interested in me at the beginning and then it didn’t work out for other reasons such as lack of chemistry in person, lack of compatibility, etc.)  However, now I’ve built up my self-confidence again to the point where I don’t care anymore what those guys think of me.   Frankly, I don’t want a narrowminded guy who immediately dismisses me based on my race (or stereotypes me as some “exotic” object), so I’m not missing out on anything by losing those guys as options.   However, as frustrating as that is, I can’t control other people’s prejudices.   I’m learning to just focus on what I can control (i.e. what I can do better and my choices in men–like perhaps opening up my own age range to those older men in their 40s)
    Well, online dating has certainly been humbling, and at least made me a lot more empathetic than I used to be.   Now I know what it’s like to be looked down on, so now I’m much less inclined to do that with other people.

  3. 43

    some like to feel like they still have power over people and it’s and adrenalyn rush.     Kind of sick eh?

  4. 44
    Victoria Grace

    Being judged by people according to appearance,qualification, rich or poor and how we dress,   this is common in this world. But if you see someone who wear a dress or pants that you don’t look nice to your eyes and you look down on the people . i don’t think it’s will be nice.And making fun or mocking of people who is low self-esteem and those who have physically disability and mental disability it’s not good either. Besides we should look at our own personality and reflect our self in the mirror.

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