Am I hard on people? Yes, I’m hard on people sometimes.
Sometimes I am compassionate. I understand that some people are dealing with more than anyone should have to. I understand that the everyday burdens of life are sometimes enough that getting by and not taking it all out on an easy target is an accomplishment. I see that complaints sometimes amount to nothing more than “Leave me alone. I’m not bothering you.” I see that this is true. Then I am compassionate.
Sometimes, however, I see people with position, power, support, resources. I see them complain that someone else isn’t doing things the way they would if they bothered to do them. I see them try to impose aspirational standards on everyone, under every circumstances, while not meeting those standards themselves, despite that position, power, support, and resources. I see lies, though I’m not always sure whether I am seeing self-deception or whether someone thinks they can make me believe something they don’t.
I am still compassionate. I understand that position, power, support, and resources make it all too easy to be told what one wants to hear instead of what one needs to hear. I understand the temptations of power. I understand the fear of losing privilege.
I am compassionate, but I am hard. Some people it costs nothing but unearned pride to do better than this. Some people have accepted position, power, support, and resources based on promises to be better than this. Some of them have earned these things by demonstrating they can be better than this.
It doesn’t mean being perfect. Sometimes it means being quiet because someone can’t meet the standards they’ve set for themselves by what they’ve accepted. Sometimes it means doing their best while being willing to fix any mistakes. But it always means being better than this–because they’ve demonstrated that they can, because they’ve received the rewards of doing so.
Also because you’ve accepted a world in which I have to be better than this myself. That makes me compassionate. It also makes me hard. If you don’t want to change the world, that’s the price you get to deal with.