“It’s not that bad” This phrase is one of the most overused and dangerous ones in the English language. People say it all the time to placate themselves into thinking that things really aren’t as bad as they seem. What if the one time you tell yourself and believe it, you find out, too late, that it really was ‘ That Bad“? Too many times we have all become complacent with our own little worlds that we have lost a measure of our empathy and in some cases our morality. We have lost our sense of outrage. We still might feel anger at seeing something wrong but most of us really don’t care enough to do anything… Some of us have even lost the sense of outrage for ourselves. It’s not that we are oblivious we simply have convinced ourselves that if things have not met a certain measure of extremeness then it is not as bad as we imagine it to be. That caustic phrase ‘Its not that bad’ can make an abuse victim stay; a woman or man to ignore themselves; or a person to believe that certain injustices like homophobia and racism do not exist. It can fool us into assuming there is an abundance of hope when hope is in limited supply. It can even make us partially blind to the plight of others. Its bad when we can turn on the TV or browse the web and the story of an abused or exploited child gets less press than the one about the dog being rescued from a shelter.
When was the last time you actually felt angered by something you saw or read? Not just a passing anger but infuriated? What about something that was done to you? Someone hurt you and feels they can get away with it, does that not make your blood boil? What about someone doing harm or something happening to another, does it make you angry enough to act or speak out? When was the last time you got angry period?… Did you speak out and tell off the other person or did you bottle your rage inside and fume? Did you try to do anything at all to change what made you angry or did you poster in front of others and pretended, what you could have done or would have said? Where is your real anger? If you are the person suppressing your anger to go with the flow then I beg you now to simply stop! You’re right, in a lot of cases it really is not as bad as you imagined it is much worse and if you don’t act it will continue to spiral.
‘It’s not that bad’ is a lie that we tell ourselves to make living the way we do easier to swallow. Life is not meant to be easy it was meant to be lived and learned. That means sometimes you will have to step outside of your comfort zone. In the case of abuse, it is never OK so telling yourself ‘its not that bad’ is the same as saying ‘I don’t matter’. No one deserves to be abused. No one deserves to be harmed. No one asked for it. Besides do you really want to get to the point where even you can no longer claim its not as bad as all that? You only have one life and you are in control of you. That means getting angry over the way that YOU are treated by another and by yourself. GET ANGRY! Find it! Feel it! Once you have felt the anger and righteous indignation, act on it. This is your life take charge.
Take charge of you and get angry with you. Stop making excuses. If you know your behavior is destructive and you can change it, why would you continue to keep putting your head in a blender? You deserve better than to live halfheartedly. Don’t assume getting angry with yourself means punishing you. It doesn’t. It simply means being accountable to you. No one can live your life for you. No one can change you. You have to change yourself.
Don’t hate the world or walk around on edge and full of anger but don’t be afraid to feel a healthy dose of anger. Don’t wait until society or our lives really are so horrible that we can not effectively claim indifference. Don’t negate something or assume that things are not as inadequate as we assume because it hasn’t affected our corner yet. Teach the next generation that it is OK to care about the plight of others. Teach empathy and strength. Teach hope. Teach them that the only time ‘its not that bad ‘ should be used is to describe a casserole.