In my last article, Be the Light, I wrote about Martin Luther King Jr’s sermon called, “Loving Your Enemies.” I wrote that we can do better, we just need to open ourselves up and actually listen to each other. In order to heal, we should begin by analyzing ourselves, taking ownership of our own actions, utilizing purposeful/healthy communication, and learning to forgive. What I am seeing is “sides” that want to prove they are right. Sides that want to defeat, point fingers, or share things on social media that are aimed at defeating instead of healing. I see people sharing what they think is for the greater good, but in fact it is adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Spreading hate and negativity multiplies hate and negativity and I see what it is doing to us. This is a spiral of destruction that is rooted in darkness. It corrodes our thoughts. This is not the path to the mountaintop.
Social media posts and what people share have consequences.
Pointing out how the strong person stumbles is not the way. The credit belongs to the people who are actually in the arena, trying to be good people. They stumble. We stumble. The way to help each other is to be good people and to support others. To stand up in the storm and have compassion for those who fail. This starts with us. We always have a choice when it comes to our actions. I would like you to consider this when on social media. Think to yourself: Is what I’m about to post going to help or hurt anyone? Is this going to spread love or hate? Sometimes hate is deceptive. It’s easy to spread hate disguised as love, because you might not even realize it. The devil is deceitful. Mind your words because they matter. You don’t know who you are affecting.
Marcus Aurelius says, “Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.” This is one of the best pieces of advice I have received. Arguing a point, pointer fingers, trying to prove myself “right” and others wrong doesn’t help. The best solution is to be a good person. To lead by example. To be a doer. Here are 10 tenets I try to live by:
Rectitude – Think and act morally, upright, and honorable. Doing what is right. Emotional intelligence and a clean heart. (This is an entire post in of itself.)
Appreciate – Life and the abilities we have in it are not a right. They are a privilege.
Compassion – Everyone makes mistakes. No one is perfect. Relate to the pain and help recover.
Speak the truth – Do what you say you will do. Speak with honor and respect.
Protect those in need – Defend the defenseless.
Help others – Service is life’s highest calling. It also has healing qualities.
Nobility – Be of strong character and act with integrity.
Loyalty – Stand by your friends. Honor your spouse. Respect your employer.
Stay strong and light up the darkness.
Homework: Look at your social media feeds. Do you see people spreading light (love) or darkness (hate)? Pay attention to how it makes you think and feel. Try to detach yourself from that reaction, recognize it, and adjust as necessary. We are in control of our thoughts. Protect them.