This past weekend my husband and I were walking on the bike path discussing the possibility of buying a new home in Hawaii. My husband is retired and I work for myself. We have a pretty amazing life, I think. As we were enjoying the fresh air and dreaming about the sunsets on the beach, three young men around 19-20 approached us and were taunting, "Good luck in retirement" like if retirement was some kind of insult. They hadn't heard our conversation so my guess is they saw that we are in our fifties and old to them. Jack Nicholson once said his mother never saw the irony in calling him a son of a bitch. Well these apathetic teenagers who are probably busboys with no real direction seem so angry that they were essentially insulting our freedom and not reflecting on their own pathetic lives. Angry people want to hurt others because they are hurting and don't want to be alone in their pain . The unhealthy emotion of anger can make people jealous, hurtful and destructive. Anger eats away at the soul turning people into ugly, apathetic and unhealthy people . Each time someone takes action with their negative thoughts to crush someone else they're tearing down their core. The sad irony is the people who are really hurting are the ones mulling the emotions around in their heads. Everything we express outwardly we impress on our psyche inwardly. We have all looked at negative people and could tell by their body language they were troubled. The irony that three pimple face boys who don't have a pot to pee in could actually view their lives as more superior. I have worked with people with abusive behavior and this is how the behavior patterns start. Batterers hate the success of other; they hate competence and need to tear people down to feel powerful. The problem though is they never really feel good because it cannot feel good to make others feel bad. They get what they want but they know they didn't get their needs met honestly. The psychological term is learned helplessness. When people have the dog-eat-dog mentality, they are fighting the world and they are often doing so alone and afraid.
If we want our kids to have resiliency and healthy interpersonal behaviors role model to them how to love themselves and those around them. Adolescence is often a time for discovery but if what they learn about themselves is nasty, mean and hateful they'll become insulting, disrespectful and apathetic abusers. As they mature, or should I say immature, they will only find pain in their future. Teach then compassion and how to get their needs met the right way so they don't have to hurt others to be seen and heard. There's a difference between having power and being empowered. Give them the wisdom to know the difference.