In a recent conversation with a friend, she mentioned reading through the comments of a Facebook post in which there was a lot of anger and arguing and how she got pulled into the fray. Among the comments she had read, one stated that these days people seem to go looking for something to be angry about. I had to agree, I truly think there are people out there who are just looking for a reason to be angry and if you are one of them, this post has probably raised your hackles. You’re welcome. Now keep reading.
If you have a social media account, you surely know what I’m talking about. At any given time, I can open my Facebook feed and view any number of posts from people expressing their anger from encountering the “so-and-so” not using their turn signal on their daily commute, to the dregs of humanity they encountered at the local discount store, to having to wait in line for an hour at the DMV and more. People getting straight up ANGRY about these things.
Then there are the comments. Someone posts a seemingly innocent question or shares a frustration with their child, spouse or a family member and the comments explode with judgement and name calling. Everyone has an opinion and with the anonymity that social media affords they have no problem giving it. After all, if you are not face-to-face with the person you are putting down, you don’t risk physical harm for telling your friend they are an idiot for thinking/doing/being that way.
Lest you think this some sort of finger-pointing commentary where I explain to you how I’m right and you are wrong and that makes me a better person than you, let me state clearly, I am as guilty as anyone of this behavior. I just want to figure out why. Why are we seemingly always at the ready to find someone doing or saying something that WE would certainly NEVER say or do? Why do we feel the need to impart our wisdom on a matter in the form of unsolicited advice? Why do we feel the need to bash someone else when their personal or religious beliefs differ from ours. Why does it matter if someone decides to wear flip-flops with socks when the temperature dips below zero? Does that really affect us in some adverse way? What makes us such authorities on ALL subjects? Have we forgotten that each person carries with them a set of unique circumstances that play into how they navigate this world?
I have many theories about this, but no real answers. Thankfully, that’s not what is important here. What I want to do here is bring about a small change. Imagine what we might happen if we made it a point to look around our immediate environment, our own little piece of the planet and see what is GOOD, find that tiny little something that makes us smile. What if we retrained our brains to see the good in people to find the half-full glass? To give some thought to what the other person’s plight might be and give them the benefit of the doubt that what they are doing, what they are going through doesn’t make them lame, stupid or less-than, but human.
While I understand that there are serious situations facing our world that need to be addressed, what I am trying to get to are the posts and comments that judge others. It is my opinion that as long as we are making posts about the “idiot” driving in the rain with the top down on his convertible and not giving consideration to the circumstances that we couldn’t possibly know by simply observing him, then we may not have any hope for solving the bigger issues we face. I think that understanding the other side of the issue is key to finding the solutions we face.
I’m going to try it. For the coming week I’m going to try to make a daily post on my Facebook page about something positive, about the things that make me smile. I will share those things that bring light into my day. I am going to make positive comments on others posts and refrain from giving unsolicited advice. I’m going to try to be helpful and useful and kind. I am going to try to build others up, not tear them down. I have my work cut out for me for sure. Will you join me in this change for the better? Just one week.