“You’re an Idiot!”
No, no, I’m not referring to you. I personally don’t feel that anyone on this planet is an “idiot” – although it seems there may be a few of us cruising through life a few French fries short of a Happy Meal. But that’s the way life is. We can only play the cards we’re dealt and that’s OK.
The title of this piece is not intended to be a personal slam against anyone. Instead, it is basically a three-word synopsis of several of the comments posted to a blog I recently read. That concerns me.
In my opinion, it was a pretty good blog. It was well written, insightful and overall provided brief discussions of several things worth thinking about. There was only one small section that seemed to raise the hackles of a few of the readers. As a result, some of the postings weren’t very nice and instead of making an observation related to the blog, they were directed more at the blogger’s “stupidity”, audacity and lack of sensitivity. The “You’re an Idiot!” lights were flashing red.
I understand that every single person in the entire world has a reason for thinking, believing and acting as they do. I understand that everyone has the right to their own opinions – about anything – no matter how widely their opinions may differ from mine. I also understand that we are extremely fortunate to live in a society that allows us to express our thoughts and opinions freely – including unkind posts in the comments section of a blog.
I understand, and yet it concerns me. Maybe I’m just old-fashioned or maybe it has something to do with the way I was raised. At a very young age I was taught that we should be nice to the people we’re around, that we should be polite and never say mean things to other people. Mom took it a step further when she pointed out that “If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.” I’ve slipped up on this last part more than a few times in my life and for that I’m truly sorry. I’m doing much better at it now that I’ve figured out that it was genuinely top quality advice.
I guess what concerns me most is not the effect of the put-downs or the demeaning comments on the individual they are directed toward, but more the effect these types of comments are having on the individual that made them in the first place. The way I see it, whenever we verbalize negativity – or even think it in the first place – it tends to reinforce the negativity that is already present in our lives. If we keep doing that, the little not-so-positive cloud that we started out with could turn into a giant negative thunderstorm that might just have the potential to wash many of our hopes and dreams right down the drain.
It’s pretty simple actually. Negative thoughts and comments will produce more negatives both in our words and in our actions. On the other hand, positive thoughts and comments will produce more positives in our lives. It’s just the way it works. So just as a suggestion, before you launch a slap-face verbal missile toward another person, stop and think about how you might be adversely affecting you and your life. You’ll know what you should do…
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