Stefanie Hartman In The Press

The Few versus The Many

Posted on 16 June 2011 by Stefanie

I was so outraged Wednesday night – I could have screamed. 

Rarely do I get very angry about things.  

But if one thing makes me so angry, it’s this…

People who demonstrate through their own actions or words, purposeful, intentional destructive behavior to another individual’s spirit, reputation, body or property with zero conscious and sometimes glee. These are what I call “the bad seed”, in the severe cases (it’s called psychopaths).  But with last night’s story, I am referring to the “bad seeds”.

Last night, in my home town, as many of you know, there was a very big hockey game – The Stanley Cup.  Our city was THRILLED to be part of this and it was between us, the Vancouver Canucks and the Boston Bruins.

In the beginning we were in the lead with  winning 3 games in  a row – but then Boston bounced back, and they took the cup (top prize) – on our own home turf in the end.  I was disappointed our city didn’t win.  But at the same time, I thought, what a cool story, this Bruins team went against the odds and won the series, against an arguably possibly better skilled team, and when the other team (my team) was wiping them across the ice.  How cool is it that just as people, they turned that into fuel and energy and not depression and gave up.

Of, course, I wasn’t about to say that out loud with the hockey fans near me.  And I was hoping we’d win.

It was actually cool, as I did a beer & chicken run at the beginning of the game, and in every shop I stopped in (which was like a ghost town as everyone was at home watching the big game), the staff were excited and watching off their handhold devices, and the local pubs which was packed to the rim with excited crowds.   Yes, there nerves and a little tension, but in the end, the crowds were excited about experiencing the game together.   When we were 3-0 behind and became clear we were headed in a painful direction, again the crowds seemed disappointed but not “hateful or spiteful”.  It was more of a sense of disbelief as we were leading, and it looked like a missed opportunity and we came so close, that it was a little painful to lose.

Vancouver has experienced a huge sense of “everyone getting along”, shared joy and tolerance.  Generally, we don’t have hate crimes, people say hello when you walk by on the streets or in the park.  It is common where I live to have a 15 min chat with a total stranger as I walk my dog on a daily basis.

And win or lose, we just loved everyone from different countries coming to Vancouver to hang out with us during the winter Olympics.  It was common that pubs or restaurants were full of opposing countries and we all celebrated together.  Plus every summer we have a fireworks festival where 300,000 people get together on the streets and the worst that happens is the cops end up pouring out the snuck in alcohol.  But families feel safe coming out.

Bullying in schools is even a small problem here, compared to what many other countries and cities are going through.   In fact many people I grew up never had one single incident. 

So last night, there were approximately 100,000 fans that went to the city center to watch the game on the jumbo-screen, and we all expected the alcohol pour out and maybe an idiot or two getting into a scuffle.  But nothing serious. 

So that makes what happened last night so shocking. 

Several individuals aged between 16 – 21 entered the city with the INTENTION of destruction.  Some even planned it.  They even “hoped” we’d lose so they could riot.

They over turned cars, set cars & dumpsters on fire, looted and shattered retail windows a block long.   There were many heroic bystanders also trying to stop those few bad seeds, and some of them got hurt doing so.

What was shocking to me MOST was that bad seeds were so PROUD of their totally idiotic behavior, and egged on the cops and posed for pictures by the destruction. Some even jumped into the burning cars making it a game. They didn’t even care who filmed them stealing.

Please tell me, when did being a total moron – become cool?  There was one guy lighting a car on fire, then looked into the news camera and said “Joni I love you!” and I was sarcastically thinking – “wow what a lucky girl”, seriously, that Joni girl, must have some major personal issues to be dating him.

First, this frightened the heck out of me about this age group of people- I mean what kind of stupid teens are we raising here?  And geez – how awful does this look for the future of our world.  That was a particularly nasty thought.

And then I thought – seriously we need to give these idiots something to really worry about in their lives as apparently life is too entitled and easy for them that they have NO RESPECT or EMPATHY for other people or other’s property.

Then, completely out of character (and coming from my anger at their arrogance), I suddenly found myself wishing and playing out in my mind different scenarios:
1) A secret good guy vigilantly sniper picking out these people one by one, shooting them in the legs until police could throw them in the tank.
2) A giant robot that could suck these few bad seeds out of the street and then shoot them into the Middle East or some worn town country. 

Seriously, how do people live through our times and not understand HOW GOOD WE HAVE IT?  Even with all our day to day struggles, we as a nation don’t have to deal with the severe life and death problems that many others face.  Rioting to get rid of a scary dictator – good idea, rioting to beg for jobs – makes sense, rioting to avoid torture – etc, but rioting because you’re a bored juvenile idiot? 

And it got me thinking about something else that may have affected you…

How many times do we in our business (or life) help others, lift up others, provide solutions and help to our customers, and even if we have received 200 “you’ve changed my life” statements, and 1000 or 10,000 thank you’s and I love you and your products, programs etc – then we get 1 single hate mail or, person who intentionally tries to ruin your reputation, or spread lies or something – it can make everything else irrelevant.

I am not talking about an unhappy customer that maybe you could help them further to provide them what they are missing.  I am speaking about the attacking, nasty one.

Maybe you are brighter than me (I hope so in this case), and not let this get to you.   But being candid, this actually just happened to me a few weeks ago.  It took a few weeks for me to come to a place of understanding what their true motivation is, and not take it emotionally to heart.  In fact it had nothing to do with me; I was simply a pawn in the game towards getting money out of someone else.  I’m still shocked people do this.

Actually I remember in an interview Oprah saying that she gets millions of fan mail, but if she gets a nasty one, it can take over her mind for days and sometimes she never forgets it.  Yet she may forget a compliment 10 seconds after she has heard it.

You see, these few bad seeds, don’t come close to represent who I am or who you are and what I provide, or what you provide for others.  And I vowed to remember all the MANY voices, and not discount them instead of spending time and energy on the negative few. 

So please share with everyone on my blog below.

Was this a mirror for you?   Has this ever happened to you? 

You get 1000 compliments and 1 nasty comment and you focus on that one, or do you quickly dismiss it and see the weight of positive, the true reflection of who you are and what you offer?

Did you get any insights?

What did you do or tell yourself or them?

Did you grow from this or your own experience?

I LOVE you guys – you are the best.  Keeping shining that light inside of you.


Popularity: 10% [?]

The Few versus The Many

9 Comments For This Post

  1. Judith Says:

    Well put Stefanie. I agree with you 100%. We are living in a time of the polarity of darkness and light. Everyone, and I mean every single one of us, is being challenged to choose the highest understanding and the path of light in our daily work and personal lives. The combination of natural and man made disasters that we are witnessing daily around the world, and the negative destructive actions of some groups is clearly challenging us all to think about what we do, what we say and what and who we support. I am sharing this understanding with many these days, and as I share it I see the light bulbs turning on. Conscious choice in the direction of compassion and right action are the theme of humanity’s life lesson right now and into the future.

  2. Ron Says:

    Your post raises a lot of different points. The sadness there are people with intention to hurt others for whatever significance, excitement/uncertainty, or economic gain they have, the guilt people feel when they find themselves feeling vengeful toward the destructive people, and the self doubt and pain we have when we are targets of destructive behavior.

    Much has been written and discussed about these. A few key things come to mind.

    Tony Robbins – “Stand guard at the door of your mind.” We have to be very conscious of what we let into our minds and block the poison. People who have constructive things to say are good to listen to because we can grow from that. But when people are simply being destructive, do not allow their perverse actions to damage your belief in who you are. Nothing is more destructive than our own negative beliefs of who we are and what we can be. These types of destructive people can serve to fuel that negative spiral only if we allow it to get at us.

    Sean Stephenson – “What other people think about you is none of your business; it’s not about you, it’s about them.” This is one of my favorite quotes because it really helps me to deal with the situation when “trolls” start being destructive toward me when I know in my heart and soul I’m not the way they say. It helps me get perspective and think “what must they be going through to be in such a state of hate and anger?”

    Many sage spiritual teachers – “Your thoughts are not your thoughts.” Every thought we have ever had has been given to us from outside. Some call this the thoughtsphere, some the ether. These thoughts happen automatically. It is the nature of the brain which is designed to constantly compare, contrast and conclude. It is the natural tendency of the brain (or ego) to have vengeance. They can also surface from external sources and vibration. Gandhi while in prison once found himself having murderous thoughts that kept resurfacing. Alarmed, he started noticing these tended to occur after he ate food. He began investigating and found that a mass murderer was in the kitchen making the food he was eating. From then on he blessed his food before he ate and the thoughts ended. Hateful, vengeful thought is not something to be alarmed about unless you act upon it. We are not just a single person. We are many different personalities rising and falling based upon the stimuli we receive. To try and suppress those ideas simply places us in more conflict and suffering. If we simply become aware we are having those thoughts and watch them as a spectator, these personalities get the notice and attention they are looking for and tend to subside and appear less frequently. So there is no reason to be alarmed or ashamed of having the thought. However we are always accountable to our action.

    In any situation there are inferior, mediocre, and superior actions toward injustice. In the case of these vandals, an inferior response would be one of returning attack by attack. A mediocre response might be to let the situation go by unanswered. What might be a superior response? Maybe the people of Vancouver could have a massive outpouring of the opposite action… What if 1,000 or 10,000 people swarmed the streets putting flowers and notes of love and gratitude on cars????

  3. Charlie Seymour Jr Says:


    I felt for you, Tania, and all our friends in Vancouver. What a TERRIFIC city! Fell in love with it our first trip there.

    We’re so saddened to read about the violence. A few can make it bad for the many. Clearly those of us on the outside don’t hold this against the city, but we share your outrage that some stupid people could be so wasteful and hurtful.

    Thinking about you.

    Charlie Seymour Jr

  4. stewart Says:

    we had a similair thing in the anti goverment marches in London a few months ago where a few anarchists tried to steal the show. I was vey surprised to see this in Vancouver it seems to be a sign of our time and they will have to take reponsibility for there actions these people have always been around. All you have to do is think what would love do in this situation and not get overly emotional about this, we need a sensible response with all these difficulties going on in the world currently. Love or above lift up your thoughts and be creative.

  5. Mark Michael Lewis Says:

    Infuriating. Uncivilized action, action that violates the foundation of civil society (respecting others’ person and property) is infuriating to those who do. And for good and obvious reasons. It makes sense to me that you want someone to respond with sufficient power (and precision) to eliminate the threat and restore civil order. Go Green Lantern!

    And, like the one bad apple, we separate it out, recognize it for what it is, clean off the rest so their own beauty is unspoiled, and get back to focusing on the enjoying the fantastic life that we have. If we can neutralize the threat – do it. If not, avoid it.

    Rock On Lady Stef.

  6. Gregory Joseph Says:

    I do concur as well Stefanie. I am aware that ones anger is their own. It comes from the past that each of us as individuals has created, and left unattended in our memory banks, until triggered by such an event. It brings to mind an erroneous statement that I had fallen prey to; Everything happens for a purpose. Here is a better rendition. Things happen to allow a purpose to be applied. As in this example. you chose to see both sides, honored your anger, and sent instead a plea for love qualified with knowledge, and understanding. From this viewpoint, perhaps, the Master, (ourselves), can take up the broom and clean it’s own heart. Much like so many of the Natural, and Made Made Disasters that we are witnessing now. It has been noted that these disasters have fostered a deep compassion that few have expereinced in their lives. I must welcome this experience as a blessing to clean up the anger in my own heart. Just yesterday, while leaving the Condominium Complex where I go to work sometimes, we noticed an 80+ yr. old man sitting on the main highway on Hilton Head Island, midst all of his belongings packed in garbage bags. Upon inquire, he, after 20 years of paying rent, falling to a debilitating back surgery, and getting behind on his rent, was evicted to the street! After getting over our stunned shock, we realized that we could not keep our day as planned. So We gathered resources and got a Storage facility to offer a free space, and contacted some marvelous people who could find him shelter and a new home. I felt the uncaring nature of the landlord (albeit not knowing the full scope) and felt my anger at this by all appearances, seemingly uncaring nature. Yet, on a day of extreme business, I realized that this interruption was a blessing that brought me squarely face to face with my values and priorities. I got a chance to walk my talk. I am even more motivated from adding your accounting of the riots. Thank you!

  7. Frank Kickbush Says:

    With you on this one… I was far more disappointed and dismayed at what followed the game than the game results. The Vancouver team I hope will not carry the burden of the reaction of some of their fans in this situation.

    It amazed me that the aftermath events took longer than the game did. I guess it is all about how we respond to things. How do we lead ourselves? What principles and standards do we hold to that ultimately govern our behavior? Imagine taking pride in wrecking someone’s business?

    When stressful or disappointing situations confront us – how do we choose our response? Some of the instigators will try to avoid their responsibility and blame the drinking, some the “mob mentlity” or the team for “letting us down” – but anyone with half a brain knows we are all responsible for our own response to whatever happens around us.

    Stephen Covey has said: “we are all respone-able” or able to respond, that the freedom to choose is in the space of time between stimulus (disappoinment) and our response to it.

    I was so impressed with the officers on the street facing that situation – they remained calm and patient and worked very hard to ensure the safety of the very brain dead idiots that were causing the problem… hats off to them for carefully choosing their response!

    I am from Victoria and I still feel the bruise to BC’s reputation this has been (and I don’t mean losing the game). But like you say Stef, are we going to let this incident define us? I don’t think so. We will not give it any more power by turning to the millions who know and love Vancouver and British Columbia and Canada and say “What riot? – awesome serries eh? The Canucks made it all the way to number 2! We are back on the map baby! Congrats to Boston, you earned it my friends!”

  8. Evelyn Thriene Says:

    Dear Stefanie Hartman! Today I transmitted your Blog-Entry to the most popular talkmaster in Germany, Ms Anne Will, who titeled her TV-Show with the question, if we need more GOOD-FELLOWS (german: Gutmenschen) to strengthen our ideals in society.

    To strengthen our ideals in society it is nessecary to learn all together about the deep meaning of “respect” and “empathy”. These capacities of the heart grow through a deep feeling for ourselves and for other human beeings and animals, basis for the realization of the fulfillment of our needs, hopes and aspirations. Empathy can be the turning-point in our lives, respect helps to live together in a world of different attitudes. The ambiguity of single individuums should never darken our live – aggression has to be stopped, but by other means!

    All the best for you,

    Evelyn Thriene
    (Lake of Constance, Germany)

  9. Jared Says:

    It’s so interesting to think of you having those kinds of thoughts Stephanie! You’re such a kind person, but even the most kind can have moments of anger – especially in such a situation as that. I always wonder if those people ever think about, or have the brainpower to think about, how it would feel if the same thing happened to them? Probably not.

    I have had a lot of “criticism” in my time and even to this day I can remember some of the harshest things said or the worst attacks on my reputation. I responded by being me and letting the truth show. Actions speak louder than words after all. And when that didn’t stop the individual, I confronted them and made them see that they were being immature.

    Other than that I usually let it all roll off my back. Dirt doesn’t stick to you if you stay clean. It’s definitely a good policy to give thanks and gratitude to the people who show you kindness and give you compliments. If you can help even a handful of people in your life then you’re 10 times more saintly than most people these days. And Stephanie, you have quite the halo.

    Keep up the good work!


    Jared Juetten

Leave a Reply


 Subscribe to get my blog posts

Subscribe to my feed via email

Follow me on:



Visit my Website:

Stefanie Hartman


Photos from Stefanie

Heavy Gold Bar!medal holdmedal hold1medal design

See all photos

Recent Posts


Visitors Online

Free counters!