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Haters gonna hate

It's pet peeve rant time. And it's gotten so bad lately that I've stopped responding out of frustration about the sad need to have the conversation over and over. It crosses boundaries from sports to parenting to politics to other activities. The experienced veteran versus the newbie. I'm giving up talking to the veterans. And my advice to the novice is "haters gonna hate." I hope you find the support and knowledge you need and I, personally, try hard every day to share what I love in a positive way. Ignore the critics and believe in yourself.

It usually goes something like this..."I'm not currently a runner, but I want to do a marathon next year. I'm a little worried about injury, can you give me some advice?" In steps the know-it-all, elitist jackass: "that's probably not a good idea. You should do some 5k first. Running a marathon too soon is such a rookie mistake, please don't make it." And on and on.

First of all, forget that the newbie asking the question usually (but not always) isn't looking for opinions about making a fool of herself. She knows she's new and your attitude isn't helping her feel more at ease. But, secondly, you've offered no real aid or practical usefulness to her for someone so high and mighty.

But, third...and this is the one that really grinds my gears...it's not very welcoming and encouraging. Especially in areas where we need new interest like getting people interested in a sport or activity to continue growth. You're not going to find too many more (insert hobby) if you drive them away with your lack of proper guidance.

Granted, it often comes from people who think they are older and wiser. It often comes from people who did learn the hard way and are trying to help people not go down that same bad road. I get it. But it often comes with a side of "better than" where someone has worked hard to improve into upper levels and resents that another person behind them is refusing to follow the same path.

In parenting, you see it in the attitude some people have to new parents about "oh, just you wait, it will get worse...lemme tell you what it's like for me" game of one-upmanship. It smacks of "look at me" instead of let's give a hand up to the newbie. It gives off a vibe of superiority instead of equality. And it doesn't foster a sense of community when it happens.

At one time we were all scared new parents, non-swimmers, non-runners, non-cyclists, non-backyard chicken keepers, whatever. You're not the first and not the last to learn the ropes of your hobby or job. And--I say this with a cynical sense--the current crop of veterans often thinks that the next generation behind them is lazy and spoiled. There's a club mentality of "you're not a real ____" until....

Let's be honest, a lot of what I'm talking about is difficult. Make no mistake, novices. You very well may be in over your head and no complaining when you are. But some of the greatest lessons I've learned in life have come from biting off more than I can chew. That's how we learn and how we grow.

Experience is the best teacher.

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