"No soul of high estate can take pleasure in slander. It betrays a weakness." Blaise Pascal
It never fails to amaze me, the lengths some folks will go in order to slander and harm another, whether it be an individual or an institution. The greatest lies... and as a consequence, the greatest harm... seem to come from people who have an irrepressable need to blow out another's candle in an attempt to make theirs glow brighter. The problem is that in the process, they significantly dim their own.
One must always question, just what is the intent behind malicious words? So often, those who tear others down do so in a self-righteous, finger-pointing fashion. I've seen it so often that my first questions are, "What has this person got to hide? How might they benefit from harming this person (or entity) they so vehemently attack? Or are they simply so lacking in their own self-esteem and accomplishment that their only way to gain acknowledgement and self-satisfaction is to harm another?"
In regard to the horse world, there are even websites and blogs which attack individuals in a most vicious and vulgar manner. Breeders bad-mouth other breeders or even registries in their little phone and e-mail circles. Some intentionally attempt to harm others in every possible way... and I always consider such attempts to be a red herring. Rather than look at the horses and actions and website of those they attack, I look at what the attacker has produced and accomplished. Most often, its a very short investigation which raises significant questions as to the credibility of the attacker and the quality and legitimacy of their own stock and operation.
Frequently, however, and even more disturbing, are those who anonymously make these negative claims. If a critic cannot sign their name and stand by what they say, in front of God and man, it has no credibility whatsoever. A screen name or avatar is an assumed personalty and I consider them to be fiction, right along with whatever garbage they might spew.
The same could be said for any other corner of society. Trace a character assassination to its source, and there you will usually find a putrid, gangrenous root. Jealousy, most often... and usually accompanied by its pathetic friend, insecurity.
I truly feel sorry for those who get their kicks by tearing others down. Its pathetic, unseemly, and destroys their own credibility. For many years now, I've made a point to avoid association with such folks, but at times the spirit of negativity is so widespread it is difficult to escape entirely.
Slander, lies, untruths, malicious gossip... no matter the name given, the intent and the result are the same. It hurts innocent, often hard-working people, seriously and sometimes irrepairably. If you participate in it, your credibility and integrity and reputation are significantly diminished, both in my opinion and that of much of the community at large. There are still a few among us who see it for what it is...
I, for one, intend to be of the light... and shine that light into the darkness at every opportunity.