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Letter to the Editor
Wednesday, September 30, 2009 • Posted September 29, 2009

Dear Editor,

   Have you ever been accused of doing something that you know for a fact never happened? Even your own son questions, “Why Dad? That never happened.”

   It appears that people are subject to false allegations quite often. If this happens, is it necessary for an individual to take some form of action to combat any inappropriate and/or erroneous assertions to which he or she has been subject and just how would an individual go about it? More importantly, why do others even want to make up these outlandish remarks about someone?

   More and more it becomes apparent that certain individuals feel they must gain a certain status by creating stories that could [possibly] destroy the character of another. Furthermore, making statements of others that could [possibly] be construed as slander or defamation of character seems to be standard or normal human behavior [for some]. Stating a comment that could cause grief, despair, and anguish by another person is all too easy for some, while at the same time being all too easy for others to believe these coarse or slanderous statements. Often these statements are used by someone towards another as bait to bring in more conversation to further degrade a person - remember the status thing. These conversations (commonly discussed by individuals that heard it 2nd or even 3rd generation… also known as rumors) will often attach other dialogue by others (that just have to contribute) to only compound the original erroneous claims. Others are compelled to simply make up allegations so they can feel secure (with their status) that they had something to contribute whether or not there was any basis or truth to it. Soon the original incident is overtaken by some inconceivable tale similar to something you would see on Lifetime or the Oprah Channel. No matter, people will continue with their stories to further intensify their standings in the community. Often the assertions or accusations are, in some instances, continued by the person or persons to maintain their allegations possibly to protect others to whom they are close.

   How does something like this happen? Typically, an ordeal such as this is created when someone has a selective perception of what happened versus reality. Usually misconceptions, fabrication, or disputes between people can be resolved by having some form of hearing (formal or informal) that would bring in all the parties involved and discuss the events of this matter in a rational and professional manner; however, that would be too difficult for some. It was so easy to create a fantastic story, while at the same time securing the opportunity to stake a higher status; and now, to display a notion that what has been said was in error would be too frightening, inconceivable, or even unacceptable to those that originated the rumors and possibly create further hostility in their statements. Action by the individual to resolve the matter might even escalate the matter to a higher level. The person or persons responsible for these false allegations may have to rely upon the use of aggressive action or threatening statements so that the individual that is subject to these false allegations won’t speak out in defense of what is really the truth. It is very probable that the individual that originated the false accusation(s) [and staking claim in the community] may find the need to threaten the targeted individual if any form of defense is discussed by the individual that has been discredited. Yes, the all time favorite statement, “I’m gonna kick your… ” may be used. Can you say redneck? This form of persuasion is typical by those who have no other recourse except to come to terms with the truth... that ain’t gonna happen.

   Any act of rebuttal by the individual who is targeted with these childish and slanderous statements [that will probably circulate to a degree of incomprehensible babble] will most likely go unresolved and may even make things worse. Those creating the false accusations will only attempt to argue their position by creating more slanderous or false statements possibly about something that [never] happened a year or two earlier, “I still remember when”, or “others said that”…  This form of human behavior is typical of those who are insecure, jealous, or feel threatened by the individual they are targeting… sounds like politics.

   This is also very apparent in individuals who have the inability to apologize for their actions. Some people just can’t admit that they are wrong. People with this disorder can usually be recognized because they are always the ones who make derogatory statements about another person while that person is not present and then turn around and act nice to the person their very next visit together. These people will deny any wrongdoing or simply state “oh, I forgot all about that” in order to secure their actions.  These people may feel that they have some form of (pseudo) authority because they belong to some [self-righteous] organization and for some reason, they feel it puts them above others and they have no need to justify their narcissistic actions or even better, they feel they have a right to pass judgment.  

   So, who cares if someone’s character is being challenged? Actually, the only ones who are concerned about anything are the ones whose character is questioned and the ones evolving the question. Many don’t concern themselves with such petty, childish issues… but some do. Those who do are typically individuals who already lack any self-esteem and are in desperate need of acceptance by others; therefore, their reaction to this form of stimulus is much the same as a person who won’t disclose which side they’re on until they know the score. It’s a game that people play and nobody wants to be on the losing team. This form of human behavior is prevalent no matter where you live. People are competitive by nature; however, some never grow out of their adolescence stage to understand that the competition needs to have its limits. One sure thing compromised by all this behavior is quality. A condition is created that could possibly remove a player from the program; a player who may bring better quality than what may already exists. OMG… I almost forgot. That’s what this is all about; isn’t it?

Doug Edwards

Blanco, TX

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