#2. It's Totally Fine to Not Have an Opinion
Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images
Let's not bullshit here. A sizable portion of the people talking about the Zimmerman trial didn't watch every second of the case. They didn't submit themselves to the same rules the jury had to follow. They didn't analyze evidence or compile data. They got their information the way many of us do: social media sites and The Daily Show.
Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images
"You know, d0nGBlasTeR69 has a good point."
That does not in any way make them bad people. But far too many of them formed a guilty or not guilty judgment looooong before the trial was over. What's my opinion on the case? I don't know. I'm one of the many, many people who have no idea what the hell they're talking about. I don't know Florida law. I don't know how it happened or what evidence they had. All I know is that it was an absolute goddamn tragedy, and I wish to God that boy was still alive. But as far as the case goes, I am woefully uninformed.
That doesn't mean I have to stay out of the discussions, but I'm not about to make a vocal opinion on the trial itself because I'd be talking out of my ass. I wish more people considered this before stepping into the chaos, but the reality is that the temptation to weigh in is sometimes overwhelming. But there's another bizarre side to that ...
I think a considerable amount of people feel that if they don't chime in, people will think they don't care. That they're cold-hearted bastards who can't be bothered to step outside of their own personal dome long enough to even glimpse the rest of the world. So with the little information they've swept up from random sources, they throw their two cents in and ride it out.
David Sacks/Lifesize/Getty Images
"Hey, can anyone give me a quick rundown of Texas senate procedures?"
It's perfectly fine to just stay out and read from a distance. No matter how dire or important the issue, it is not required that we personally address them all. I assure you that the people who have done 30 hours' worth of research on a subject would much, much rather that the uninformed just sit back and learn, rather than interject opinions without a foundation. There's nothing wrong with that. But strangely, we still feel that there is.
Also, there is no debate about it. Han absogoddamnfuckinglutely should have shot first.
#1. There Are Far More Good People Than Bad
Photodisc/Digital Vision/Getty Images
Assholes tend to stick out like middle school boners. It's part of the reason they're assholes. That demand for and reception of attention gives them power, and that power feeds their egos. It's easier to focus on the people who drop into conversations slinging racial slurs and praising terrorist attacks than it is to recognize the countless people condemning those actions.
It's called negativity bias, and it's as much a part of human nature as getting hungry or saying "collaborate and listen" after someone tells you to stop. If you ever find a way to get past this, please let me know ... and I do mean both the negativity bias and the Vanilla Ice thing.
Scott Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Pictured: Cooking MCs like a pound of bacon.
But because of this little buttfuck quirk of the human psyche, as each new tragedy makes its way across the news, I start seeing more and more people saying things like "I give up. I can't take any more of this. This entire world is fucked." It's truly heartbreaking to see, because in that moment, there is not much you can say to convince them that there are so many more people doing so many good things.
Look, I'm not one of those bubblegum chipper people who walks around with rainbows shooting out of his asshole. If you've read pretty much any of my other articles on Cracked, you know I'm not exactly upbeat. Sometimes I see the world as a dark, festering shithole filled with the expelled refuse of power-hungry social cancers. So this reminder is as much for me as it is for you: The world isn't as bad as you think. There are so many more good people than bad people, and to not recognize them is undermining all the work and sacrifices they make to provide us with better lives.
"No, Mr. Baker, I've told you before that hand jobs are not a part of your medical needs."
And please don't misunderstand this as me telling you to walk around singing "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" while forest animals fix your bow tie for you. If you do that around me, I'm elbowing you in the goddamn throat. All I'm asking is that you don't let the bad shit overwhelm you because there are a whole lot of awesome people out there saying, "Hey, don't worry about it. I got this."