We all may be different people from different places with different ideas of the way the world should work. We may not even speak the same language, but we have one thing in common.
We're going to run into terrible people from time to time.
I don't see them very often nowadays. I work in a pretty small team at a well-intentioned university and almost everyone is nice. I tend to not go many places, since I've got a wife and friends already.
I do play video games online though.
This morning, I encountered one of those people. I sent him a message after he won saying that winning is fine, but he doesn't have to gloat. Any video game that offers the ability to crouch are going to give the less dignified among us a way to assert dominance, in their mind.
The point is, I was trying to tell someone to win gracefully. He responded in the most reprehensible way I can imagine. I can't even repeat the things he said to me because they're gross, but after he said them, I felt the spark of "fight back".
I started typing another message to him because I was going to show him. This would be no battle of wits because he'd clearly have no weapons in that war. I'd teach him for being rude online.
Then I remembered something. People like this, they thrive on response. They live for it. He was going to get laugh after laugh at my good intentions.
But he needed to be taught a lesson, right?
Right. He does. The kind of stuff he pulled are going to get him in trouble at some point, if he keeps doing them.
The beautiful thing is, though, it's not my job to teach him that.
I own responsibility for what I do.