Gossip Shmossip 

Dear Minerva,

Why is this world full of so many cruel people? People always say that people are too sensitive now and that the world has gone soft. But my observation is the exact opposite. It seems like everyone has gotten meaner. I hear so much gossip and I witness so many attempts to cut people down and ruin their lives. Why does this still happen? Haven't we evolved? How do you deal with gossip and insults?

Sincerely,

Reluctant Misanthrope

Dear Reluctant,

Honey, you aren't wrong in your observations. There are many people who don't feel good about themselves and, unfortunately, they grasp for anything to make themselves feel superior to others. Anything, that is, except bettering themselves. Gossip and cruelty are havens for the bored and damaged. With social media and the anonymity of screen names and keyboards, people don't feel pressured to behave themselves; It's a sort of electronic Coliseum where hurting people is done for sport. My philosophy is to call people out on it, if need be, and then move on. My senior quote comes to mind for this kind of thing. After being the subject of hatred, innuendo, and gossip for much of my childhood, Oscar Wilde put it best when he said, "There is only one thing worse in life than being talked about and that is not being talked about." If people are gossiping, you are on their mind. Don't let their immaturity dim your light—unicorns pay no mind to the opinions of jackasses.

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