Here’s a metaphor for humanity: At the top of a steep slope is a large mass. The mass represents the Oneness of which each of us is a part. It is cleaved into individual, perfectly square cubes that then tumble down the slope of life. The moment we are cleaved/born, we feel separate. The slope is our lifetime, with some people’s lives tumbling by quickly and dramatically, while others slowly grind their way down the slope.
Right from the start the cubes all land at different angles. Some hit in groups or pairs or solo, and as they chip and sheer and crack and break on the way down, each impact —each formidable experience— literally reshapes them. They become the person their life experiences shape them to be.
Of course, there is no wrong person for anyone to become. Every shape is equal. But it is important to be conscious of whoever you are. To be conscious of your own shape. That makes life much easier.
As of this writing we’re almost 8 billion cubes (on our way to 10 billion cubes) that are all tumbling down the slope simultaneously. Some of these —just by sheer fluke— will finish their journey as well-rounded stones. Most will be lumpy and uneven, but many will have been badly broken or have important sections missing. And a few will get crushed down into small, sharp shards that serve little purpose. These shards are the metaphor for the people who become Haters and Trolls.
The simple motion of the world will generate some haters and trolls if only by accident. It generates people that like to do accounting, and it generates people that like to climb complex, freezing mountains, and it generates people that want to experience danger and pain, like the guys from Jackass. And it’ll also naturally generate haters and trolls.
These will be people whose tumble down the hill —whose nature and experience— would have wired them up to be nasty, mean-spirited, ultra-negative, low, dishonest and hurtful people. I won’t pretend to like them any more than anyone else, but I don’t turn to hating them. I’m the one that feels the hate. I’m not interested in doing that to myself. Especially when they got that way as innocently as we got the way we are.
All kinds of people will naturally come to be in the jostle that is our society. Put enough people together and you’ll get every permutation and combination of the primary personality traits. So accept that haters exist and don’t think about them beyond that. In fact, you engaging with them is like a drug to them. They’ll chase it like a vampire chases blood. No, you don’t try to argue them into a whole new brain —you accept who they are and you work around them.
Haters and trolls feel crappy to deal with because they feel crappy inside. So don’t engage with it any more than you need to, and only do it to accomplish bigger and more important goals. If they really want to change they won’t be shy about asking for help.
Don’t get bogged down in negativity. Work around the people who were given unconscious addictions to it and continue with your enjoyable life. But don’t hate the haters. That’s not beating them. That’s joining them.
A serious childhood brain injury lead Scott to spend his entire life meditating on the concepts of thought, consciousness, reality and identity. It made others as strange to him as he was to them. When he realized people were confused by their own over-thinking, Scott began teaching others to understand reality. He is currently CBC Radio Active’s Wellness Columnist, as well as a writer, speaker and mindfulness instructor based in Edmonton, AB where he still finds it strange to write about himself in the third person.