Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Enemies of Idealism

Mean people suck, but nowhere is that more evident than on the Internet. I thrive on imagination and I never try to stifle any ideas I may have. I was one of those kids who believed that the cardboard box the new cooking pots came in was a spaceship and my cats were aliens from outer space (still wonder about that one). I never had anyone tell me that my ideas or imagination was stupid. That is because I grew up without social media. These days, social media acts as an enabler for the enemies of idealism.

No one knows what a real conversation is anymore. Let me give you an example of what I am talking about with a post I recently followed on Facebook (I changed a lot from the real conversation but this is the general idea).

Original Post: Can you guys imagine what the Sabres could have done in the 70s if Bobby Orr was on the team?
Very First Comment: Well he wasn't and that is a stupid idea.

Really? Instead of trying to pursue the conversation in one direction or the other, one of the enemies of idealism immediately shoots it down. Of course, once one enemy comments, the rest jump on board like ants attacking a fallen ice cream cone. The people who lack imagination get a lot of joy out of ruining it for those of us who like to think of the "what ifs" that are out there. By the way, I was not involved in the conversation I am referencing. I stayed away after reading the first comment.

Why do so many people grow up to hate their imaginations? And why do they find such joy in destroying the imaginative ideas of others? I can only guess that people with no imagination are jealous of those of us who can think outside the proverbial box. They feel that lashing out is the best response. I kind of picture them sitting at a desk in their room at their mom's house with their computer seated right next to their high school football team picture from 20 years ago.

Instead of being a wonderful tool of collaboration, social media has become a way for miserable people to be miserable. The really annoying thing is when miserable people gather together in bands and start going after the dreamers and thinkers, any interesting ideas get shot down. Insults are the only weapon an enemy has, and it is the only type of conversation they know.

I have to believe that this is the reason I get nothing but negative responses when I try to start conversations such as "Wouldn't it be great if we had no political parties and we just tried to do things as one country?" Inevitably, the "snowflakes" and "libtards" comments come out from people who are incapable of any real thought. I don't do political discussions on my Facebook page anymore simply because the dreamers never respond.

Nothing can be done about the enemies of idealism. All I can recommend is if you like to use your imagination, then you better do so in the privacy of your own home and not on the Internet. Now, more than ever, the world needs powerful dreamers. But on social media, the majority appears to be the insecure enemies of idealism who don't have the capacity to envision change, and have a really hard time with words larger than one syllable.

My kingdom for a persistent dreamer who sees the world in a way that no one else does. That kind of person may be our only hope...if they can be heard over the din of the insecure enemies of idealism.

George N Root III is a Lockport resident who prefers to not live in reality. Follow him on Twitter @georgenroot3, or send him a message at