Suzy and I were talking about an issue that comes up in my book. Several times in the principal character’s life he has to face pure meanness in his coaches or others. Meanness is not a phenomena that’s limited to coaches or school bullies. Suzy ask me what is it that bring out that trait in people. I told her in several instances of my life a coach couldn’t distinguish the quality of “toughness” with meanness. He believed that being mean, he was teaching a young athlete to be “tough.” Meanness in my experience only brings out other negative qualities rather than having a positive effect.
We hear commentators talk about an athlete or politician needing a “mean” streak, as if this was an attribute one should admire and desire. My own experience is the opposite. Meanness is something we should discourage and resist. I’m confident that everyone has their own experience with different forms of meanness. I bet that few of those who encounter it believe they learned a positive lesson or developed a “winning trait.”
Do Sufi’s talk about “meanness?” For me it’s an emotion that should go into extinction. Your friend. Webb