I thrive upon routine.
One of my morning routines, is to read both news articles and blog posts from various sources online.
I love words.
I LOVE them.
I love the way that people are able to paint a story with their words.
I love the emotions that they evoke within me.
Sometimes those words evoke laughter.
I appreciate those words regardless of how they make me feel.
What is important to me, is that they MAKE me feel.
Another thing that I have added to my morning ritual, is reading the comments on these published articles.
Now one thing that I want to talk about in this article today, is negativity.
I was brought up that "if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all".
To me, this doesn't mean that you sit back and allow yourself to be totally fucked over.
It means, that it's nice to be nice.
In the digital age, we have the safety of hiding behind a computer / phone screen.
This gives us the confidence to sometimes be absolutely horrible to other people.
And I think it's not only unnecessary, but often downright mean.
If you do not agree with someone else's perspective on their own experiences; on the thought processes of another; on the way that someone else has chosen to live their life - does that make these other people wrong?
Or worse still - does it mean that they should be abused and ridiculed?
It may be wrong for YOU, but it doesn't mean that it is wrong for THEM.
Why don't we try to take things back to basics, and ask ourselves if we would have those same discussions with these people if we were in a physical setting.
Like, if we were sitting down in front of them having an actual debate.
Face to face.
We claim that we want to celebrate diversity.
We pretend to encourage people to "follow their dreams".
We act as though we want to give people the freedom of speech.
But do we really?
Do we really want people to have the ability to express whatever it is that they wish to express?
Or do we try to convince them that that's what we want for them, just so we can have the opportunity to tear them down whenever they do bravely choose to wear their hearts on their sleeves?
Some of the comments that I have read on fellow writers articles are disgraceful.
And it makes me wonder - have we become a bunch of bullies?
Are we truly being authentic? Particularly if these are conversations that we only feel comfortable having behind the safety, and relative anonymity of a computer screen?
Is it bravery?
Or are we simply being an asshole?
Are we so disconnected from reality that we feel have the "right" to behave unkindly?
Sure, there are so many times that I don't agree with what a lot of other people are writing about.
It's a given.
We're all different.
But I personally take the approach of agreeing to disagree.
I would never attack someone else for their opinion.
Because whatever it is that they are choosing to post about or publish, is their own personal opinion, based on their own personal experiences.
Its right for them. And that's all that matters.
I often quote other writers within my own articles.
And today, I quote, Socrates.
"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
We often have no clue as to what has prompted someone to pour out their heart and soul, and be absolutely vulnerable in their musings on where life has taken them, or make them think or behave in a certain way.
And it doesn't matter.
As the observer, it all comes back to having compassion.
And so many of us clearly have no idea of what compassion means.
"Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others."
And I will proudly admit that I possess the gift of compassion.
I am deeply sensitive.
I can walk into a room and pick up on the emotions of those that fill it.
And I know for myself, I wouldn't be able to sleep at night knowing that I have hurt someone else at the expense of my own ego, entitlement, or self-righteousness.
So today, I would like to take this opportunity to openly express my dislike for this new "dislike" button that is soon to potentially be added to our options of how we choose to interact on the biggest social media site - "Facebook".
I want you to stop and think for a moment, before you absentmindedly click what you think is a simple little button. I want you to be present, and to think about if what you are doing is "nice".
And ask yourself this question, from the ancient philosopher, Socrates, before you go and respond to these people that have chosen to share their stories with you.
"Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary?"