As I look out my window and gaze at the snowy rooftops of my little mountain town, I am reminding myself that there are good people in the world. People who say hello to strangers and people who hold doors open as you enter a store. People who make the conscious decision to withhold judgement, practice kindness and make the world a little better place. Because you see, it IS a conscious decision. Each of us has a choice about the kind of community we want to live in. The kind of world we want to co-create. Will it be compassionate or cruel, open or closed-minded? Lift others up or crush their spirit? The choice you make ripples through your world and impacts those around you, whether you like it or not.
You see friends, once again I logged onto Facebook and discovered a shit storm of cruelty – hatred directed at a veterinary practice and the humans who work there. Hatred grows like a prairie wildfire. Indeed, some people love to hate on others, garner sympathy or perhaps just create some drama to entertain themselves. This is particularly common when we are hurting and struggling to find an outlet for that pain. If you have not developed the emotional maturity and self-awareness to recognize where your pain comes from – your own loss and sadness – it is easy to project that pain out into the world. I get it. Blame, shame and hurting others seems so satisfying when you are hurting. You feel justified in your behaviour because, in your mind, you have been wronged. We have all done it. None of us are blameless in this game. If you are hurting, want to lash out and use social media to connect with your peeps, I get it. I only ask you to ask yourself two questions before you hit “post”.
- Will transmitting your pain into cyberspace in the form of hate, help you heal or will it simply keep the pain/anger/hate cycle going?
- Do your comments have the potential to destroy another person – mentally, emotionally or professionally? Do they have the potential to push that person over a dangerous precipice and into a dark ravine?
While it may feel great to garner support for your hate, how do you feel about destroying another human? Their reputation, their self-esteem and their mental well-being? If this makes you feel good – shame on you! You might as well stop reading – we’re done.
As the sun peaks over the rooftops of my beautiful mountain town, it is making the snow on the rooftops shine with dazzling purity. I ask myself what kind of community do I want to live in? What kind of world? And more importantly, how do I create this world. As humans, we all crave connection. To be seen, heard and truly understood. We mistake social media as a way to do this. It is so easy to sit in our chair, scroll, like and mistakenly feel we have found connection. It is a false reality and at the end of the day leaves you more alone and disconnected than before. Recognize it for what it is – a tool to be used how we, it’s operators, choose. Do we build others up or tear them down? Do we share our lives or spread hate? The choice is yours. Your actions are colourful threads in a large tapestry. Each of us contributes our thread and it is woven into our society. At the end of the day, ask yourself this. Do you want a beautiful piece of art where you can take pride in your contribution or an ugly reminder of the worst of human nature? Choose wisely.