I wanna’ be like you hoo hoo
Every once in a great while…well, perhaps a little more often than that. Like, oh, I don’t know, about every day…I seize an opportunity to lift myself to a higher place of confidence and self-satisfaction. I elevate my perception of who I am by doing this one weird trick.
I step on somebody.
Now, c’mon…admit it. You do it too. You see or hear about someone saying or doing something you think is pretty dumb, naughty, laughable, insensitive, mean, mindless, or <insert critically negative evaluative adjective> and you be like, that’s so whatever and suddenly…stomp! Hey…I can see my house from here! You put them down to raise yourself up.
You may not even be conscious that you’re doing it. It may simply manifest as a seemingly harmless attitude of superiority. Well, I’d never do that, or, she really needs to wake up, you find yourself thinking.
So when I caught myself in a thought pattern like that again earlier today, I sighed and prayed, God…help me not do that. I want to love as you love, not with an eye to criticize but with a heart that desires the good of all. I wanna’ be like you.
Cue orchestra. I can hardly help hearing that song from Disney’s animated “The Jungle Book” every time I think about how I want to be like Jesus. So I brought it up on YouTube, enjoyed the clip, sang along (Hap dee dooby doo wop), then read some of the comments below it. Now, these were mostly harmless, but if you’ve spent any time at all in the comments section of blogs or other online publications, you know that a lot of folks can’t seem to resist the opportunity it affords to give themselves a little lift there. Words like idiot, moron, racist, homophobe, etc. get tossed out until you can almost picture the commenters getting taller.
It’s the ever-present temptation of the frail and fragile human psyche…I’ll feel better about myself and where I stand if I’m over and above you…or him, or her, the Facebook friend, the coworker, the hapless public official or the clueless celebrity, the blogger, the family member, the restaurant worker, the woman walking down the street.
I don’t mean to imply that every criticism or put-down stems from insecurity. Some people are just plain mean. Or dumb. Or racist, idiot morons.
Whoops. Back to the confessional.
Forgive me, Lord. I don’t want to be critical, arrogant, and insensitive. I don’t want to look on my fellow human being as someone to diminish for my own magnification. I want to be meek and humble, loving and kind. I want to be generous and compassionate, self-sacrificial and patient. I want to give without expecting, forgive without resentment, and love without conditions. I wanna’ be like you.
This post was originally published in February, 2015.
Thanks for the post, Caroline. Yes, this behavior to beat down other people in order to feel better about ourselves is hammered into our heads starting from an early age. My Mom had a very sarcastic sense of “humor” so in our family it was always about ribbing someone, “all in good fun, no harm intended.” But with the internet, no one even bothers to try to disguise the beat downs as “humor.”
Thanks for your comment, Tom. I was going to say I’m still in the process of unlearning the behavior, but I really don’t think it needs to be learned. It just goes with our nature.