It’s no secret that here in Chicago, most of us have the World Series on our minds. While I don’t watch any of the games, (not due to lack of interest, but to keep peace and quiet within myself), I have been following these games periodically through Facebook and other social media streams.
Last night and tonight, the Cubs lost. As I followed the progression of both games on Facebook, I began to wonder if the angry posts from “friends,” were symbolic of how these individuals cope with other non sports-related challenges and/or disappointments in their own lives. On my part, this isn’t really a judgment as much as a deep curiosity.
On the upside, as I read these posts, all I could hear was the music from West Side Story, when the Jets and the Sharks are threatening each other.
Many of us are die hard Cubs fans. I would not consider myself die hard. I’m a fan. I’m a die hard fan of trying to help others and make the world better.
As a fan of the Cubs, to me this means, supporting the Cubs whether they win or they lose in what feels like a sane head space. Last night and tonight, I read extremely mean posts about the Cubs from self-proclaimed Cubs fans, downright furious posts when the game wasn’t going the way they’d hoped, and the reactions I read regarding the fact that Jon Hamm wore a St. Louis Cardinals cap, actually frightened me. One Facebook “friend” wrote something that appeared to be threatening to the actor who is from St. Louis. Sure, could he have left the Cardinals cap at home? Well, yeah. He didn’t. It’s a hat. It doesn’t make him evil, nor does it make him less attractive to me.
I had some other “friends” post really lovingly loyal things like,
I will never give up on the Cubs.
We can still do this!
Don’t lose hope!
I’ve tried to think about when I’ve become passionately angry about something. I do remember that rather recently, I was throwing cashews at my television during one of the political debates. I was talking to the TV, so I am guessing sports fans must have that same adrenaline rushing through their bodies that I had when I was watching the debate.
As I threw the cashews and talked at the TV, I never wanted either candidate to be hurt or feel pain. I never wished ill on them, I just wanted one of them not to ever be our POTUS. EVER. Still, I ultimately knew and accepted that I could not control the result with my own anger, joy or any other emotions I might have experienced. Sure, I could vote and research what country I’d move to if one particular candidate did get elected.
I voted. I researched other countries. Beyond that, it’s out of my hands.
I can always gauge my mental state by how I deal with other drivers. My daughters will tell you that I don’t yell at or even speak negatively about other drivers very often,
I am not perfect, and every so often, I find myself even quietly saying, “What in the hell is the matter with you,” or “WTF?” Once in a great while, I mouth, “Asshole,” so my daughters won’t hear me swearing, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t really an act of anger. It is.
Perhaps how I am in the car every so often is how some of my “friends” on Facebook reacted to the last two Cubs games. I’d like to believe that’s all it is.
What I don’t want to believe is that we’ve simply become a very fickle society, filled with specific and unrealistic expectations of how something should turn out, or how someone should be. I don’t want to believe that we’ve collectively lost a sense of true loyalty and real respect.
While I was startled and uncomfortable by some of what I read on Facebook, I am going to simply choose to believe that the angry and mean posts were not sincere and no one actually wants to see a man hurt because he wore the wrong hat in the wrong city.
I’m also going to remind myself that me being uncomfortable and startled by these posts is my own issue that I have to get comfortable with. I just hope I am not an individual recipient of any of these types of attacks by someone who professes love and respect for me. The fickle and ferocious nature of them is quite frightening.
And as Anne Frank once wrote,
In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.
And, GO CUBS!