So this post has been a long time coming, so buckle up buttercup ‘cuz I got something to say.
People who know me know I like to quote famous women when the situation calls for it. One of my favorite sayings is attributed to Alice Roosevelt Longworth and was reportedly stitched on a pillow she had in her receiving room. I pull this little ditty out at times when people start to make disparaging comments about other people and I don’t want what they are saying to be overhead. It goes, “If you don’t have anything nice to say about anyone, come sit by me!”
Now one variant on this I’ve seen is this one:
Which, truthfully, is what most people think when they hear the first iteration.
But I have a different slant on this because I have saved people from making fools of themselves on more than one public occasion by interjecting this into a conversation that, if overheard, would cause the person speaking some embarrassment at the very least.
Because I say this – often – it got me thinking about the state of the world we live in these days, where strangers have been given carte blanche for saying anything and everything about you on social media without any real consequences. Social Media and especially in my opinion Twitter, is the new bully. Not the entity itself, but it does give bullies the pulpit ( the very real definition of a BULLY PULPIT!) and a platform in which to advance their hateful ways.
We all know that the saying sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me is a blatant lie. Don’t believe that? Get your head out of the sand and check the high school stats for teen suicides from relentless verbal and social media bullying.
I have a dear and lovely writing friend who never comments on social media about her political views or beliefs. One day, she broke that rule and within seconds began to suffer a backlash from tweeters calling her stupid, an epithet I will not repeat nor spell here, and various other nasty things. She could have done the knee-jerk thing that 99.99% of people do nowadays and responded to the negativity with negativity of her own.
She did not.
Instead, she took the high road and for every nastygramTweet she received, she responded with a meme featuring Mr. Rogers, the king of kindness. Brilliant. Why was it brilliant, you ask? Well, when she responded to the hashtag feed, every negative statement made to her was flooded with a kindness themed one. Pretty soon it was those Mr. Rogers kindness memes that were trending and not the hateful hashtagspeak.
Now, bear with me here for a moment. D0 you remember that 1970’s commercial for Fabergre Organics shampoo? The one that said,” If you tell a friend, and she tells a friend and so one and so on?”
Well, that was a very effective marketing campaign for its time. My idea to combat the negativity spreading like venereal disease along the planet and born of that effective marketing campaign, is this: when you hear something negative be it on twitter, facebook, any where there is a platform for bullying and hatespeak, combat the negativity with something positive and then retweet/share/link it to all your followers. People will respond to that positive message by retweeting/sharing/linking it all their followers, and so on and so on.
Think it won’t work? Let me give you a come to Jesus moment, peeps.
Every day I tweet/fb/ instagram a morning motivation. It is always a positive affirmation. And every single solitary morning and all throughout the day, I see it pass by my twitter and FB feed with retweets and shares. Most of that traffic is from people I don’t know from Adam. SO if you don’t think you have the power in your hands and at your keyboard to combat the negative with a positive, again I will say to you: get your head of out of the sand.
I could have said get it out of a different place – like a body part – but…trying to be good here, peeps.
Does this sound a little Pollyana to anyone? Too saccharine? Too old school? If it does, okay, ‘cuz sometimes you gotta go old school to combat the present day bulls**t.
So, darling peeps, my rant is over. The lesson learned today: Don’t give into the negative. Shine your light in the direction of positivity any way you can. It does work. Light will ALWAYS drive away the darkness.
Until next time ~Peg
3 responses to “IN a world where you can be anything, be……”
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Right on, Peggy! I’m with you there!
Great post, Peggy. Kindness and civility are sadly lacking these days. Smother the bullies with lovely platitudes.