Last week, on one of the news channels that I don't watch (someone else alerted me to this I had to go check it out), one of the commentators was talking about the troubles that Tiger Woods is been having lately. During the course of his commentary, he mentioned that he had heard that Tiger was a Buddhist, and that maybe he should switch to Christianity because, in his opinion, Christianity was a religion of love and forgiveness, and he thought it offered more than the Buddhist religion did.

I was stunned when I heard this for myself, because the commentator used to be a respected news journalist for so many years. Then I was alerted by the same friend that he had gone on a different show on the same network to supposedly clarified his remarks. Instead, he reiterated the exact same thing, didn't apologize to anybody who might be Buddhist, and stuck with what he had said before. In other words, he didn't believe he owed anybody an apology.

In my mind, it was a bigoted statement and something I'm surprised, or should be surprised, that network allowed to be said not once but twice. Building oneself up by putting someone else down, or in this case promoting your religion as a better religion than another religion, is outright proselytizing, and very hateful. That this person can't see that their words insulted an entire religion, something that even he admits he knows nothing about, shows just how far this country has to go to understand other cultures and other religions and other peoples before we say things that make us look like idiots.

Of course, it's not just something like this particular religious hatred that needs to be addressed when were talking about trying to build yourself up by putting other people down. We see that every day in our lives when we interact with other people. As much as we used to hear when we were growing up how bad it is for us to talk about ourselves in a good manner, or bragging as it's usually called, it's worse when we decide to go after someone else to make ourselves look better. This doesn't mean that we don't call someone out whenever they do something bad, but it does mean our motives have to be more altruistic than personal.

Personally, I would rather someone come to me and tell me all the good things that they have done in their life and in their career than to say something to me like "I'm much better than John is, who sits there all day eating cookies and rarely gets any work done." When people are giving an honest assessment of themselves, it might come across as bragging to some, but in today's world if people don't try to promote themselves in positive ways they're probably not going to be noticed by almost anybody.

That's unfortunate because in the past people were promoted for good work they did because supervisors would pay attention to what every one of their employees was doing. These days it seems like supervisors and managers and leaders pay more attention to what someone did recently than to take into account the entire body of their work. And, because things are more fast paced than they used to be, it's quite possible that management just doesn't have the time to notice as much as they used to.

We all have to be careful when we decide it's time to talk about somebody else. I know that I have called people out on this blog, including in this very article. But there's nothing self-serving about what I'm saying in this article. I don't get any boost or benefit out of mentioning this commentator, who, as you noticed, I haven't given his name because I'd rather not give him any more publicity than he deserves. I do think it's a travesty whenever and wherever it happens, and I hope that more people start to call these people out. And if you're someone who does that on a regular basis, I hope you take a look inside to see how you think that might be representing you in the eyes of others.