It’s Halloween and that means that every kid in America will be all dressed up in awesome costumes going trick or treating from door to door from late afternoon well into the night. At least that was the scenario when I was growing up. Door to door trick or treating now is almost unheard of. Instead, you have giant car to car gatherings, mostly organized by a church at a safely lit church parking lot, where kids dress up and go from car trunk to car trunk to get treats.
I used to trick or treat with friends and neighbors without adult supervision. We’d go all over our neighborhood and have a great time trick or treating. We didn’t worry about opened candy or being kidnapped. We didn’t worry about going into a house and never being able to come out again. Back in those days, we did fundraisers for school by going door to door alone. That was because we knew our neighbors. We actually talked to our neighbors. Granted, we didn’t know personal details about each house and each family, but we knew enough to know what kind of people they were and if we could trust them. Back then, trust was easy. It was never questioned. It was never questioned if the lone man in the blue house was some creepy pervert or that the old woman in the red brick house was really some horrid witch who ate children for her supper. Trust was a given thing in neighborhoods, even with the neighbors who didn’t like anyone at all. But in today’s world, everything is different. And trust is no longer a given. It’s a very rare thing now to have.
What is it with churches planning Halloween events? I understand the need to make settings safe for children and your entire flock, but shouldn’t Halloween not be celebrated by churches? It’s not the same as having people who celebrate Halloween that go to church. Churches celebrating Halloween gives it the okay for everyone in those churches to compromise their beliefs and add in other beliefs.
Is it hypocritical of me to even say that? I’m a Christian. I don’t celebrate Halloween (unless people want to give me candy), but I wish everyone a Happy Halloween all the time. So in essence, I’m celebrating Halloween too. I don’t want to be the kind of person who totally pretends that other people’s beliefs don’t exist, or worse, condemns people to hell for what they believe in. So is that what churches are doing, celebrating Halloween so that they don’t look like jerks?
However, being a jerk is a cool and amusing thing in today’s society. Viral videos of people being mean are the trend and sadly, there are people making videos trying to top those videos.
Insulting people, making fun of people, and bullying people isn’t a funny thing. Yet, we do it all the time. We do it in families, in friendships, in relationships and we think it’s super funny because we laugh at other people’s expenses. The saying goes, “Only I have the right to make fun of my family and tease them, but if you do it, I will hurt you“. Since when has it been okay to be mean and horrible to your family, but nice to everyone else? Worse, since when has it been okay to be upset at other people doing the same thing you’re doing to the same person you do it to? That’s hypocritical too.
I have a big family. I was very mean when I was younger. I had a lot of anger. I had a lot of unresolved issues. I get mad now when my family is being mean to one another. I get mad now when my friends do the same thing.
Rachel used to call everyone a bitch, a slut, a whore, and a multitude of other degrading things. It was the way she had always spoken to others and others accepted that about her. I tried to accept that about her too, but I eventually had to say no. It wasn’t okay to joke around and call someone names, even if all her other friends were okay with it. I wasn’t okay with it. She was very mad that I even told her to stop calling me names, but slowly, she did stop. And she stopped calling everyone else names too. She stopped allowing people to call her names as well.
Most people don’t realize that all the “jokes” and all the “harmless humor” in insulting yourself and others actually do affect you and others. Everyone starts to believe it. And while most have adapted to throw on a thick skin and pretend that words don’t hurt, they do. Name calling like that degrades people. And it makes their self esteem and self worth go down. It’s a form of manipulation hidden behind a smile and laughter. Much like many forms of manipulation hidden the same way, they all affect what we think about ourselves, how we feel about ourselves, and that if everyone else was like us and felt like us, then we’re not alone and we’re not as bad as we feel about ourselves.
What is a good medium between harmless teasing and insulting masquerading as teasing?
I don’t know. I think we all go back to that double standard that we were taught as kids that it was okay to be mean to people you care about, but to be nice to everyone else. That double standard isn’t right.
Since when is calling someone fat or chubby out of love make calling anyone else fat or chubby okay? Since when is calling someone an arrogant jerk and teasing them about it out of love make calling anyone else an arrogant jerk and teasing them about it okay? Since when are we so preoccupied with tearing other people down, tearing ourselves down, that that becomes the new normal? That it becomes the new okay? All of these things that we do, all the insulting and teasing and bullying are tearing people’s self esteem and self worth down, whether we love them or not, whether they’re family or not, whether they’re our best friend or not. It’s not okay. It’s not okay to hurt others and ourselves.
I’m off on a tangent here.
I missed the good old days when things were easier and nothing was so blurred that it’s hypocritical religious political societal bs.