Sometime in the past week or so, one of my friends posted or shared (possibly liked I can’t remember) a post that was knocking motivational memes/ posts. When I read it I was fairly nonplussed. I didn’t make a comment, because I don’t like to write in the ‘heat of the moment’. I would rather not write from a place of reaction, but more from one that is a little more grounded and thoughtful. To be honest, I had no idea at the time why it caused any reaction in me at all but now that I have had some time to think, I know what it is.
The past few weeks have been so ripe with hatred and horrible events in the news – so much negativity on a global scale, that the reduction of anything motivational or positive to being garbage (not to mention the flagrant disrespect for a person’s right to pray and offer thoughts during a time of tragedy) really pissed me off on a deep and personal level. Fine. If you want to be miserable and allow yourself to get caught up in that spiral rabbit hole of misery, go ahead, but your path is not my path. Don’t tell me what to do, what I can share, what I can’t share, just because you have such a myopic vision of the world at the moment. And, don’t you dare tell me who I can pray for or offer my thoughts of concern, because despite what you think, sharing that energy is not just a feel good kind of moment, it involves action, purpose and intention. It’s not my bloody problem that you don’t get that, so don’t make it mine.
Now, to be fair, I think the issue about praying was in reference to some politicians who may or may not actually be genuinely concerned, but I still don’t believe you can go around saying don’t pray it’s useless. If you have never seriously done it in your life, prayed, meditated, allowed yourself to be come in tune with your surroundings, how can you actually know the positive impact that it can have? If you want to wait around for the science behind it – there are plenty of studies that have been done that actually support the practice. Of course, the beauty of science is that there can be as much ‘evidence’ to refute it but honestly, I don’t care. No matter what religion a person is part of, what their spiritual path is they are on – it is theirs to walk, not yours.
Clearly it is still a topic that gets me steamed.
Sorry, back to the topic of motivation (got a little side tracked). I will admit, photo memes with random quotes (or completely fabricated ones) that are meant to be motivational or prove a point, sometimes get annoying. I think sometimes we get so caught up reblogging or reposting things that we instantly like/ connect with that we might not know why we are sharing what we do, or do the research to do a little fact checking, but I think there is still value in being aware of those moments of recognition. Something in that post flashes with a person before they reshare it. A little spark of something that maybe never gets pursued, but maybe it does in its own time. Who are we do judge that? There seems to be a general feeling of consensus, at least the vibe get as people talk about it on social media and in traditional media – we do judge and should judge because there is nothing stopping us from doing that. I think that is kind of sad – that the switch has been turned off, and people feel entitled and empowered to judge others from the keyboard and screen. Oh and it spills over onto the street, office, home, family, friends, I am sure. It’s become more and more normalized that we don’t draw boundaries for ourselves any longer. The escalation of bullying is proof of that. It isn’t even a concern any more about being ‘anonymous’ because that doesn’t exist and we know it. Our online presence can be traced back to us if necessary – if we get too out of hand.
It is easier, in some ways to be negative, to cull the fluff, to beat someone down with words, to decry the outrageous behaviour of others or call someone out on something we simply don’t like, even if it is none of our business. But what about the person who is in desperate need of a little compassion, a note of encouragement, a flicker of recognition, a lifeline of hope? where does that figure into the darkness?
I think that is what makes me angry most of all – we seem to have forgotten completely about those people who are drowning and need a helping hand. We can’t know how our words, what we share, will impact on someone else. Negatively or positively. If we are going to hold everyone accountable – why do we not hold ourselves accountable in the same way? I would far rather have something I shared reach out in a positive way than be hurtful. But that is just me. For a very long time I was too shy to tell anyone what I thought on the subject, and even still I am pretty reserved and quiet talking about spiritual or religious topics, because for me, the path is intensely personal. Words are not always easy to find to explain – let alone justify – what I believe.
Fortunately I have learned over the years to worry less and less about what other people think of me, especially when it is very negative. It definitely can weigh on me. I can’t pretend that it doesn’t, but I can choose to let it bring me down or I can find a different way to grow through it. I suppose that is where my line is drawn. The challenge I set myself every day – to find the beauty in each moment and share it. There will always be detractors. That’s just a simple truth of life. Even so, that doesn’t mean I have to stop being myself. I can keep myself on the edge of that rabbit hole and make choices – always.
I wonder sometimes if it is more the noise that we create in our online worlds and offline worlds that is really the bigger problem? That the disgust and distain is more about not finding something that speaks to us in away we have no words for? Maybe. It’s not for me to know in the end. I do know that if something makes me frustrated or angry for long enough, it is because I need to sit with it and figure out why – which is what I did tonight.