As I read Brad Geagley’s recent blog about the Vickies of his life (see Hall Monitors of the Internet), my first thought was to think of what goes on in the heads of these Vickies. I wondered what motivates them to do what they do. The Vickie from his childhood had perfect hair, perfect clothes, etc. She seemed accomplished. But maybe, none of these made a difference. Maybe she figured out that she had to find a “niche” where she could stand out and be noticed. She chose being nosy and tattling! But really, don’t people like this only want to be liked? Accepted? Friended (To use the new social media lingo)?
The rest of us are able to stand back, scrutinize the scene, eyes narrowed, heads moving slowly. Surely, someone out there, for heaven’s sake, needs to call her attention that this is certainly not the way to go about being liked. But the teachers were too busy fulfilling the requirements in their lesson plans. The other students were all too annoyed to give her the time of day. And so, she escalates her efforts by calling every small bit of deviation from the rules, waiting for the next person to slip up, so she could triumphantly report it.
Or, could it be possible that she had a nobler, more honorable goal? Or, is there a DSM-IV category for extreme self-righteous obsessive disorder?
Yes, we all have Vickies in our lives. We have them in our own circles. We have them at work. In the neighborhood. We have them in the community, the state, the country. Just take a look at what I have called the extreme right-wing chest-beating, bible-waving god-invoking holier-than-thou-art lot that are dominating the media frequencies these days, or anytime there’s an upcoming election. It’s not that they are the majority. It’s that they are loud, persistent, and pig-headed in their twisted beliefs. And they will lay claim to such inane theories and pronounced truths in spite of evidence on the contrary.
There are also the groups who have religionized their ambitious warmongering, just like it was in the Middle Ages when the Crusades were the main preoccupation of many kings and armies. There’s another angry bunch. Bottom line is, do they really just need acceptance but don’t know how to go about it? That they really just want to be accepted in the “in-crowd” of countries or the rat-pack of major economies?
So, here’s my suggestion to Brad: Should you just ignore them and be resoundingly successful (after all, the best revenge is to live well!)? Or should you be the “bigger person” and acknowledge them (they just want your attention?)?