Here’s to being a decent human being

Aside from some serious electoral euphoria today, I’m gobsmacked at how rude some people on this planet can be.

So I’m spending my morning sending sincere emails thanking people who have been decent to me lately.

I recently made a few purchases from ebay, which I never do. But we’re going to see some snow this year and the kids needed suitable clothes. We live in a snow-free wonderland and I had no success at local used clothing stores.

So I turned to ebay.

Several great experiences. And one person who sent a horribly damaged item.

So I emailed and explained that I did not get an item in “perfect condition” as described. I wanted a refund or return. I sent photos of what the item looked like out of the package.

I got a scathing, hateful email back about how I was wrong.

Not sure what I was wrong about, I politely asked customer service to mediate.

I got another hateful email about how I’m a liar and how I ruined the item on purpose to get my money back.

I held my tongue. I used a larger monitor and saw that the original photo unsuccessfully disguised the damage. Within a few hours, ebay sided with me and refunded my money.

Stomach sour with being called a liar and a cheat, I emailed all the other sellers with whom I’ve had an easy and successful transaction. I thanked them for being decent human beings. I told them I appreciated them. I gave them good feedback.

And I am rather lost now, wondering what makes people hateful and mean. I wonder why, when told that something went wrong, the person in question didn’t say, “Weird. I could have sworn it was fine, but I’ll look into it.” This person didn’t do that. She leapt at me, clawing at my throat. For ten dollars.

Why all the hate? Where is the civility? The critical thinking?

I don’t understand some of the disgusting things said by people about the election. Whomever you voted for, there are ways to say you disagree or find someone dishonest without namecalling. Whatever you believe, there are ways to teach your kids your beliefs without demeaning other ideas. In fact, having strong opinions seems to be an ideal time to teach children. Someone cuts me off in traffic I talk to my kids about road rage and how dangerous it is. About choosing your battles. About being safe instead of being right.

I tell my children what other people believe about politics, religion, and childrearing. I explain why their opinions have merit. And I say that I disagree. Sure, I explain my side a lot more thoroughly. But I don’t call names or judge or teach hatred.

What’s up with the namecalling, America? Why can’t we believe different things without attacking?

If you are a decent person, thank you. Please endeavor to be decent to someone today. And teach your kids to do the same.

Because seriously? I’m increasingly shocked when someone is nice.

And that’s a gross way to live.