I, along with many others, like to read about the lives of Kate Middleton and Prince William of Great Britain. Their wedding was spectacular and at the birth of their first child, I was truly happy for them as they lead seemingly fantastic lives full of travel and adventure. I eagerly awaited the birth of their daughter this summer and was so happy for them when she arrived. We live in a fast world where the birth of a baby across the ocean is instantly announced. I can see historical events taking place through my computer screen without waiting for a newspaper or magazine to report the events. In a way it is fantastic, but at the same time, there are things about living a fishbowl existence that calls for more discernment and grace than ever before.
Earlier this week, I read a post about the young Kate Middleton looking a little tired. I didn’t mind the post title because, after all, she just had her second baby and has a busy toddler as well. She should look tired. I decided to read the post and ended up scrolling into the comment section. What really bothered me as I scrolled down was that the comments were so scathing and hateful. Some ripped her to shreds because she has a nanny, a cook, and a gardener or some series of employees to help her with her daily life. Others criticized her for not looking her best and for trying to pretend that her life was difficult at times. Still some raked her over the coals for wearing skinny jeans and attending a polo match of her young husband.
Perhaps it is time to recall some of our mother’s and grandmother’s old sayings, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all,” or “Don’t judge a man until you walk a mile in his shoes,” or “You can kill more flies with honey than with vinegar.” Perhaps the ones commenting didn’t have access to the same good advice I had growing up!
In some ways the Internet has become an “anonymous” place where folks can pour out all their hate, vitriol, snide remarks, and jealousy. A tool that should be so amazing is also the tool for personal vendettas against others that they don’t even know. Why can’t Kate be tired? She just had a baby. So what if she has help during the day? I am thankful that I don’t have her worries or have to wake up and perform for the public. Thankfully, no one will ever read about me on the Internet or in the news. But Kate does have to wake up and look marvelous and skinny and sexy and like a mommy and like a Queen and like, like, like… She isn’t allowed to just be Kate, a girl who married a cute guy she liked forever and went to school with.
Because it is the Internet (global), the ugly comments were from various places. I finally “Xed” out of the entire post because I was disgusted at the amount of cruelty and ugliness streaming in cyberspace about a beautiful young woman under a lot of pressure. I know she is in a privileged position and gets to do lots of things, but she is also a person doing the best she can each day. And isn’t that what we all do? We get up each morning and do the best we can no matter our circumstances.
We live in a truly fantastic world with many marvels, but those marvels will be meaningless if we forget that the world runs on complex relationships between humans. What a sad commentary for humans when we can no longer be happy for others and rejoice in their good fortune. How sad that we would rather criticize than empathize when it would be so easy to say, “Hooray for Kate Middleton! I always wanted to be a Princess. I am so glad she got to do it!”