Hey friends! Here’s a random update on this fairly non-updated blog.
There have been an increase sightings of “Karens” all throughout social media.
They come up multiple times on my FYP (For You Page) when I’m scrolling through TikTok.
“Karen” incidents (both male and female. The male equivalent of Karen isn’t really agreed upon. There has been “Chad” “Kyle”…) are a regular topic on the Front Page of Reddit via JusticeServed, PublicFreakOut, F**kyouKaren, and other subreddits.
Their tactics are usually the same: be combative (sometimes even physically, but mostly verbally) to 1) let the source of Karen’s ire know of the screwed up/shortcoming/undesirable result and 2) to get what they want.
Spoiler Alert: It never works.
What usually happens is they go viral and are virtually shamed for their actions.
If they go the racist route, people like Aunt Karen on TikTok posts their outbursts and asks her 1.1 Million followers to help identify that person which often leads to the “Karen’s” loss of employment.
Aggression; outbursts; temper tantrums rarely work.
Which leads me to the stumbling upon of Hanns-Joachim Gottlob Scharff. (Who says you can’t learn things from Reddit?)
Scharff was an interrogator in WWII and well… for the wrong side.
His job was to interrogate captured American and British pilots.
Hollywood usually depicts interrogation with acts of torture. And perhaps, we’d agree with the fact that torture might elicit the desired outcome.
But not Scharff who was known as the “Master Interrogator” in Nazi Germany (he later on was invited by the USA to give lectures on his interrogation techniques to the US military).
Scharff was opposed to physically abusing his prisoners to obtain information.
Instead, he chose kindness.
He made it seem like he was the prisoner’s greatest advocate.
He told them he wants to send them to a POW camp rather than handing them over to the Gestapo; that his hands are tied unless given certain information but once receiving that info, he’d to everything he can to ensure that the prisoner would be sent to a ‘safer’ POW camp rather than to the much feared Gestapo.
Once the prisoners were less afraid, Scharff went on trying to befriend them — acting as a good friend, telling jokes, sharing homemade food, slipping them alcohol once in a while. Because he was familiar with American and British cultures (he was married to an Englishwoman), he was able to empathize with captives and gain their trust. Some of the higher ranking prisoners were able to go on outings with him: tea with German fighter aces; swimming pool excursions; luncheons; some were allowed to visit their countrymen in the hospitals.
But most of all, Scharff would go on walks in the woods with the prisoners. He’d first make them swear an oath of honor that they would not attempt to escape. The smart thing was — he didn’t use the walk to ask them for information. He used this time to let the captive share whatever was on his mind as they strolled through the woods and in doing so, quite often the prisoners would volunteer needed information without even realizing it.
He quite literally weaponized kindness.
I have no bigger point to this post than to share what I randomly stumbled upon whilst browsing through Reddit one day.
Torture and Nazi and war and POW stuff aside… (oof) the moral of this post is that kindness can go a long, long way.
That kindness might give you the results you seek far better than outbursts, temper tantrums, rants, or violence even.
So be kind to one another. And actually do it, unlike the person who used to sign off every show with “be kind to one another” who turned out to be no so… kind. Allegedly.
Be kind to one another.