Thursday, August 21, 2014
The People of Walmart
Today's post is a little off-topic. Or maybe not. It's not particularly about homesteading, but it's something homesteaders should have. In fact, it's something every. single. human. needs.
Empathy: noun - the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
Sure, we all show a bit here and there. We feel bad when a child falls and cries, or when something happens to someone we care about. But what about empathy for a fellow human being, a stranger?
I'm particularly addressing things like "The People of Walmart" and similar websites.
I'm sure, over the years, I've made my opinion on this quite clear, at least to people who know me personally: It's disgusting. That up-skirt shot when the gal bends over...you may gasp in horror that she dare go out in public in a short skirt, etc, but what about the perv who took the pic? Has anyone ever stopped to say, "Dude! Be a gentleman! If you can't avert your gaze, at least have the decency NOT to take a pic!"
I recently looked up a flea market I wanted to check out. I found a video and thought, "Cool! I can see what sort of stuff they have before making the trek there." Instead, the video was taken with some guy's phone as he mocked the vendors and shoppers. Sad. In my opinion, the only person that came out of that video looking like a freak was the jerk behind the camera.
I've seen photos shared from these types of sites on FB, and they always tick me off. Why is it ok to photograph someone with a physical disability, post it online, and make rude comments about it? How is it in any way acceptable to photograph someone with a colostomy bag or urine drainage bag and make a joke about it?
Where is the empathy? Obviously there is an illness involved, and instead of offering assistance with a shopping cart or heavy parcel, some idiot snaps a pic and puts it online.
Instead of applauding the older lady with the fabulous hat, some nimrod posts her pic online with an ignorant comment, generally full of misspellings and poor punctuation.
As for those zaftig ladies that are not ashamed of being more than a size zero and dare leave the house with any amount of flesh showing, I say, "Good for you!"
Then there are the hair photos. Seriously. Who made some idiot with a camera phone the Hair Police? People from all over the world have different hairstyles, some long, some short, some dreaded, some colored, and some have no hair at all. It's beautiful and unusual and very individual. Would it even make you feel like a jerk to find out the bald lady you took pics of and laughed at was undergoing chemo and had finally felt well enough to leave the house?
There are photos of things that could happen to any of us. If you sat in something, the Butt Police are going to photograph it and laugh at you. If you have a wardrobe malfunction, beware the Fashion Police who will spread your photo all over the web for the world to see. And heaven forbid you should fall, or be ill, or faint - some moron is going to have a field day with that.
Now, I know a lot of people think that only a certain type of person shops at Walmart, ergo the pages of pics. Um...need I point out the photographer is also an obvious Walmart shopper?
I've heard people say, "Well, that's the kind of person that shops at Walmart." I shop there. One day you'll probably see my pic on the website. Most likely, I'll be the one in the Halloween costume, stopping for ice on my way to a party, but I digress.
I may also note that I see the exact same shoppers at Kroger, Meijer, the local mom and pop shop, the farmers' market, and just about every other place in town.
My point is this: If you see someone that looks as if they are having a difficult time, hold the door open for them, offer to return their cart for them, or just give them a smile. Don't whip out your phone to take a pic. Have a little empathy. The next goober with a camera may just focus on you, and the next time you log on to view The People of Walmart, you'll see your own smiling gob looking back at you.
Empathy. Get some.