In the Words of Dave Willis…
Be an encourager. The World has enough critics already.
Something has been bothering me lately and I’ve not been able to put my feelings into words, but the more I thought about it and the more I experienced it first hand – the more it was having an impact on me and the stronger my feelings were becoming. I was just about to sit down and put pen to paper, when, this Morning, I saw a post on Instagram that deeply resonated with me.
The post was by Rachel Hollis @msrachelhollis on Instagram
“I’D RATHER OFFER THE WORLD MY IMPERFECT ATTEMPTS AT POSITIVITY THAN YOUR PERFECTLY ARTICULATED NEGATIVITY”
“Rachel went on to say “I’d rather be imperfect at positivity than perfect at pointing our other people’s flaws. I’d rather spell the kind words wrong than never use them at all. I’d rather work to create things than work to destroy creations.”
Powerful words indeed – go take a look yourself on Rachel’s Instagram feed to see it all in context – but basically, it was in reply to a few negative people who’d posted the most hateful comments about stuff that really didn’t matter – Words that had been spelt wrong amongst other trivial matters!
I see it a lot online, it’s sad isn’t it that you sort of expect it and it goes with the territory – always easier for people to hide behind a computer than it is to say such negative things face to face. You just learn to live with it, delete, block, report and grow a really thick skin and tell yourself that the more popular you get on Social Media, the more it is going to happen.
However, and this is what has been bothering me, lately I’ve seen the rise of this sort of negativity in real life too – I’ve attended some events where I’ve watched people “Tut Tut”, “Huff and Puff”, “Shake their head in almost utter disgust”, the “Deep intake of breath and give a very heavy sigh” and, the worst, the very publicly announcing to the room that something is not acceptable, something is not correct or that they don’t agree with the other person’s presentation.
Now, don’t get me wrong – I don’t think you need to agree on EVERYTHING you read, listen to or watch – that would make the World we live in very dull indeed and not make for creativity, development or growth – but I do believe in being kind. I do believe in being respectful, I do believe in fair play.
I also believe that there is a time and place for feedback – of the positive kind, not the negative kind.
I believe that I have the right to my opinion, I believe that you have the right to yours, I believe I have the right to live my life as I do, and I believe you have the right to live your life as you do.
What I don’t believe in is that You, or I, should be mocked or publicly ridiculed and mocked for having that opinion, doing something not quite perfect, or wrong – either online or offline.
We are all guilty of a little judgement – being judgmental over something or other and I am not going to pretend that I don’t do it – but, when I catch myself doing it I reprimand and remind myself that we all have a story to tell and a reason why, what, when, where and how we tell their story – we don’t know the journey someone has been on…
Next time you tell me off for my grammar mistakes – take some time to remember I am a sufferer of Dyscalculia (on the same spectrum as Dyslexia) and I also went through the New Zealand education system when they took grammar off the syllabus as they did not think it was important – so, I am self-taught and I don’t always get it right – and, sometimes it’s just a common typo that I’ve not picked up. A nice word in my ear kindly giving me a heads up is gonna make me feel a whole lot better than you publicly slating me for sure. People will always remember you for how you make them feel.
I did something recently – something I am not proud of and it mortified me to find out how much of an impact it had on someone – I didn’t mean anything by it and I’d certainly not done it intentionally nor meant it as malicious – BUT, it took the person concerned a lot of courage to gently point it out to me to realise I’d not thought through a pointless remark very carefully.
I swore then that I would make way more of an effort to remember that everyone has a story, a journey, a struggle, a fear and that, when they are putting themselves out there to be brave – the very least they deserve is some respect. Being judgemental or intolerant doesn’t add anything to my life so I’ve decided to eliminate the energy it takes to use those emotions and feelings and really think about the projection of my words and actions and how they could be perceived by others.
What’s that other saying…
“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothin’ at all”