Stefanie Hartman In The Press

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The Few versus The Many

Posted on 16 Jun 2011 | Author Stefanie | Comments 9 comments | Tags

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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.

Stefanie

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