Snark and the Modern Gentleman.

2014-08-21 18.08.34

Not too long ago an organization where I once worked had an amazingly bad PR day, partially deserved by a determined pattern of hubris, but nevertheless unfortunate, brought to life on A1 of our local Daily. I was so amused and delighted by the crisis that I read the article three times in a row, in succession.

My mind produced at least 20 different social media pronouncements of moral superiority, “told you so” variations and vitriolic summaries of the news of the morning. I posted and then deleted at least four different Facebook snarks.

And then I received a short note from a dear friend who still works there, reminding me that my former colleagues were waist deep and wouldn’t a kind word be a better choice? Of course this brought me back from the brink – my old friends have been grinding it out at that little art spot while I went on my merry way, when the going was easy and the money was coming in fast and furious.

I generally stay classy when considering previous employers, former colleagues and past relationships, offering assistance and friendship whenever possible. I’ve given up entirely on the smallest handful of friends and former colleagues in my life. Even if it didn’t end well, we were together at something meaningful until we weren’t, and I want to see those who’ve come into my orbit happy, successful and loved. Even when it was me who made a mess of it.

Stay in touch and if I can ever be of service I will do my best to help you.

A fellow I used to work with has done nothing for years now but spread nastiness and negativity about me in a bewildering fashion. For years. My professional reputation means the world and I long considered a confrontation but why play in the muck? How much bad energy would I need to carry to engage in similar negativity? How much personal self loathing? I will pass and and so sincerely sorry about your haircut.

It is a cynical world, growing more so every day, and the easiest path is to drift along the endless river of sarcasm and snide tweets. The last few years have softened my outlook and expanded my compassion, and I am gradually letting Snark go.

Amusing others with my cleverness is like a drug – it never gets old. I will do most anything for a laugh, mostly at my own expense but occasionally targeting others. I find the latter happening less and less as I get older, more confident in myself and less inclined to thump at the world.

Men are best judged by their gentleness, compassion, thoughtfulness and generosity. Strength as a man comes from these things, not weakness. The best fellows I know are the most humane of men, loving their families and friends absolutely. That’s the fellow I aim to stay as I enter a next chapter in my life.

Snark has no place for the modern gent.

Be clever but be kind. Use your powers for good and not evil. Funny pictures are still okay though.

About jeremymhatch

If I could, I'd write about nothing but tacos. Alas, I am fundraising and leadership consultant in the arts, focusing on contributed revenue growth for organizations. Send me a compliment or complaint. And the location for the good tacos in your town.
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