As you probably know, my sister and Caiti and I recently flew to JamieKnoxville’s in South Jersey to help her move into a new place. It was a wonderful/exhausting trip that involved an eight hour stint in IKEA, dinner at Caesar’s Palace in Atlantic City, a canceled flight, a 50 yard sprint going the wrong way on a walking sidewalk (wish you coulda been there), 75,000 pieces of IKEA furniture parts and hardware that needed assembling, and a lot of buttercream & coffee.  JK is my first cousin but because of the years of childhood trauma memories we have together, she’s more like a sister to us.  After 48 hours of tugging and pulling and flat out laying on the floor laughing until we cried, we ended up with this photo and that’s when I repented to IKEA for all the things I said while I was hangry (hungry + angry) and tired.


Jamie or Sister as we call her is a very thin beautiful woman who may or may not be one of those people who “forgets to eat.”  Bless her skinny little heart.  All I can say is that I did not get that particular piece of genetic code.   When we got to her place, here’s what she had available in her kitchen—a bountiful supply of dog treats, 2 heads of lettuce, 18 boxes of coffee, & some low fat yogurt.  As June Bug (her dog) as my witness, that’s not a word of a lie.  I got excited when I saw a tin full of peppermint bark until I realized it was more dog treats for June.  I was immediately hungry and panicky.  In Sister’s defense, she had gone to a lot of trouble to order a birthday cake for me from this fancy bakery in Maryland and it was all kinds of wonderful.  Needless to say, we did not go hungry.  We ate a lot of buttercream, drank a lot of coffee, and ate out at a few amazing places. But we did tease her all weekend about her lack of ALL THINGS FOOD.  We laughed so hard about the sad state of her pantry and she even gave me permission to blog about it. I was in charge of decorating so when I suggested that we put a large glass container of peppermints on the Stockholm dresser, we all laughed because she knew what I was getting at—at least there will be some snacks around here!

 But knowing someone well enough to know what’s fair game to laugh about and what will cut them to the core is part of loving other people well.  Good humor comes from a place of love, sarcasm comes from a place of contempt and insecurity.  We are all very good at knowing the difference when it comes to how others treat us, but not as good at seeing it while we’re dishing it out.

This has been the subject of many a conversation in my house lately. Why? Because as lenient as I can be with my kids at times, I don’t tolerate snarky sarcasm very well.  And 8th grade is nothing if not the place where sarcasm seems to be part of the curriculum.  And we’re all guilty of it at some time or another, but so many people operate their whole lives from this place of biting criticism.   And since it’s been a topic of conversation in our house for the last few weeks and months, I’ve noticed something interesting.  If you are sarcastic to your kids, it will come back to bite you.

I was on the receiving end of this type of sarcasm not too long ago from one of my kids and it cut me to the quick.  Immediately, I got angry, then defensive, then sad.  I wondered if I had been that way to them lately? Is this coming from something they’re seeing or hearing at home? From friends?

Sometimes I marvel  at how kind my kids are to me most days, how tender they are to me so much of the time and when that turns to snarkiness, it’s a biting reminder that the world has enough cynicism and sarcasm and nastiness.  What the world doesn’t have enough of is kindness.  I hope their hearts (and my heart too) will remain open and tender and compassionate.  I hope they astonish the mean world with kindness.  

And I hope they find plenty of reasons to laugh until they cry without breaking someone else’s heart to do it.



24 comments on “Why is the World So Snarky?”

  1. My brain is flashing all the proverbs like neon lights in the dark
    a kind word turns away wrath…
    pleasant words are sweet to the soul…
    starting a quarrel is like opening a floodgate don’t turn that business on….
    ” Good humor comes from a place of love, sarcasm comes from a place of contempt and insecurity. We are all very good at knowing the difference when it comes to how others treat us, but not as good at seeing it while we’re dishing it out.” I’m gonna write that down and pray He writes it on my heart and flashes it like a lighthouse in the dark.

    • I am ususally reading on your phone app – but on the web site today and it looks awesom!. I have a 13 and 16 yr old and I cringe when I hear the snarky…especially when I know I encouraged a bit of it from making them watch 10 gazillion hours of Gilmore Girls most of their life 🙂

  2. This is so spot on, Edie. I feel like only recently in life I’ve learned how selfish snarkiness is and how selfless true kindness is. I’m trying to choose the latter more often as well as surround myself with people who also do so.

    And thanks for mentioning your teenagers, that’s good advice that wouldn’t have occurred to me yet, my oldest being just 6. She’s not smart enough to snark yet, but one day…

  3. So good. So true. I am back in the classroom this year after a 12-year leave to stay home with my kids. It’s hard to believe the lack of kindness. Heartbreaking, really. I miss being home, to say the least.

  4. Kindness is our family’s word for 2015. I realized we had a problem when everything that came out of my kids’ mouths sounded a lot like me. An unpleasant but necessary wake up call. Thanks for this! Kindness matters!

  5. What beautiful words! And if only we all put them in our hearts. Adore the story of three “sisters”. You are such an inspiration Edie!
    And PS: really enjoying the blog’s new look.

  6. Oh so so true Edie!! I think we all need this reminder occasionally. 🙂 I’ve seen this in a family I am close to. Yes, good humor does come from a place of love!! It makes me sad to think a couple of my favorite bloggers have fallen victim to snarky comments and I am sure it probably influenced their decisions to stop blogging. 🙁 Jesus was kind and that’s how I want to treat everyone!! With a little joking thrown in for good measure!! 😉

  7. God really has a sense of humor. I just opened this mere moments after a little “tiff” with my 10 yr old (believe me, snarky starts in 5th grade) about the way he was reacting to my almost (tomorrow) 8 yr old. and to me & Hubs (snatching socks out of my hand – ruh roh). Having to raise our voices and for him to lose privileges about having a bad attitude wasn’t exactly what we planned on today since later we’ll open birthday presents and celebrate Littlest’s birthday. My heart was so heavy as they all just left for the playground and I was having flashbacks of a few episodes with our now 19 year old who is at college and then I opened this.
    Lord, please help me be patient and never snarky or sarcastic with my boys (and please help me not to guzzle my Peace & Calming, Humility and Forgiveness oils – lol)
    I love your heart, Edie and I love God’s timing. xoxo

  8. Oh, Edie, this is so good and hits so close to home. My husband I can both be sarcastic and hearing it come out of the mouth of our 8 year old is so convicting. Thank you for this.

  9. I always say…..when someone points out another that doesn’t understand sarcasm — it’s a sign of a pure heart!

    I pray, so hard… have a genuine pure heart! I get sarcasm and have even been known to share it more than necessary!

  10. Hi Edie, Only today was I witness to all of the above, I was in
    a queue of people waiting to be served, when the customer at the till became very flustered, she had lost her money, the more she became flustered, the louder the snarky sarcastic under the breath comments from fellow customers started to filter through to my conciousness, So, I took a deep breath, caught her eye, and said loudly ( you see God gave me bravery) “dont worry darling, it happens occasionally!” The relief on her pretty face was palpable, she was red in the face and apologising to all of us, it made me sad and angry, that something as easy as this would cause people to react in this way. I did not do this to be confrontational, just to be supportive to another human being. Something that seems to be sadly lacking these days.

  11. Amen sister! The world is SO snarky and, quite frankly, someone I love dearly has been very snarky to me lately. I believe in God’s grace so I try to overlook it to glorify Him, but when is enough enough?

  12. I love this post! I agree with everything you wrote and love the Maya Angelou quote. My kids are 8 and 10 and I am trying so hard to teach them to be kind, to each other as well as to all the people they encounter (we are going thru such a tough stage right now and today was a long day). Reacting with kindness and compassion to others is the most important thing I believe I can teach them. No matter what they end up doing with their lives as they grow up, it won’t mean as much if they are not kind people.

  13. “Women of God can never be like women of the world. The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity.”

    ― Margaret D. Nadauld

  14. So helpful in so many ways. Thank you for sharing. And I love JK’s dog’s name : ) ,,,What was the inspiration,,Dale Earhardt Jr. or June Carter Cash, or something all together different.

  15. Thank you. Yes…the world can be such a negative place, and that is why I am making reading a blog entry from your (very positive, uplifting) blog every day part of my February Fresh Start. I need to bring myself into the presence of more positivity; I need it so that I can be more positive :)). Part of being ‘in this world but not of this world’, eh? Anyway, thanks again…and thanks for sharing and continuing your healing ways long after you ceased being a medical doctor. Oddly, I remember a discussion we had in your office long ago…about your starting a practice where your focus would be ‘women’s needs’…odd the turns our lives take, for you had a calling…and you answered, and you are fulfilling that call, just not exactly how you maybe thought you would be doing it back when we had that little talk?

  16. My threenager says things that are snarky at times and they always sound exactly as if they’d come out of my own mouth. A decade to go until she’s a real teenager only means a decade of me trying my best to end my own sarcasm habit. Indeed, I hope also to “astonish the mean world with kindness,” even if that means only astonishing my family with the kindness I can muster.

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