How can you tell if someone committed a crime? I don’t know enough about court proceedings to clean the bathrooms at a law office, but I would wager that I could reasonably point out the guilty at least some of the time. See, some sociopaths have a tell. If you’ve watched enough police interrogations or crime dramas, I bet you already know it: A complete and total lack of empathy or feeling.

I’m not into police TV, but watching a recording of an interrogation recently got to me. A mother had killed her two daughters, and an officer showed her the pictures of the carnage. Her reaction, or lack of one, and I was channeling my extraverted side.

“Aw naw,” I said. “That (edited) is guilty.”

At the same time, I know of a few people getting ready to hit send on an email to me about that last line who have a feeling on every little thing.

I’m similar in a lot of respects. There’s not an opinion I hold that I don’t feel strongly about. There’s not a sad situation so far away that I can’t find empathy for the people going through it. It can certainly be stressful.

I don’t use Facebook as much anymore because I have friends who will just share the silliest things. Conspiracy theories, ignorant political posts, pyramid schemes, you name it, my friends are posting about it. It’s hard to not get on there like, guys, can you not? Just post some pictures of your kids or your breakfast or something.

But who’s missing out on those pictures, those updates on people’s lives that I feel is important? I am.

I spoke to a real-life friend recently who confessed he had unfriended almost every single one of his friends who had liked a meme about the Twin Towers on 9/11. It’s not funny, he said, and it never will be.

It’s stating the obvious to say that everyone is different, that we all find humor in different things. I won’t get into that. But who does that situation say more about? The people posting something they find funny, even if tasteless, or the person willing to sacrifice (real life) friends over a stupid picture with text laid over top of it?

There’s value in keeping your mouth shut, or just not reacting, to every little minor annoyance you are confronted with. People will inevitably disappoint, they always do. However, there’s no sense in abandoning them, or starting fights, over everything that doesn’t meet your standards.

Now, when I see ignorant posts or hear people talking politics at the dinner table, I usually just ignore it. Does it really matter anyway?

I find that’s a great control method before being drawn into those kinds of situations. Just ask yourself that question. How much does this matter? How much do I care, really?  And if they try to draw you in, I won’t tell you to lie, but for my money, it’s OK to say you don’t really have an opinion, even when you do.

No one should be like that mom, emotionless and void of all feeling. That woman was a sociopath and she’s spending the rest of her life in prison, and deservedly so. However, you should also avoid the other extreme.

Life, like everything else, is about finding a balance. Having no feeling, no empathy, speaks ill of you. In my opinion, you may as well be dead. But being pulled by emotion into every little argument, every little story, is childish. Only a fool reacts to everything, and that’s this week’s small victory.

(JESSE JONES is the editor of The Eagle Post, a member of the Kentucky New Era Media Group. Find “Small Victories” on Facebook.)

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