Be Kind…or Be Quiet
If you’ve spent any time on the Internet, you’ve surely seen the negative, rude, and sometimes downright nasty comments that abound. I’m not sure what it is about the “anonymity” of the Internet that causes people to feel comfortable saying things they would never say to someone’s face but it literally hurts my heart reading the comments sections on social media.
I’m sure that this won’t even apply to most of you that read this post, but maybe it will “go viral” and people will start to think before they comment while hiding behind a computer screen.
This is a post that’s outside the realm of my usual DIY projects but after reading so many unkind comments lately on the posts of hard-working bloggers I adore and then receiving some unkind comments on my own work, I thought I’d put some thoughts and positivity out into cyberspace.
- If you can’t be kind, be quiet. It’s something I tell my 2, 4, and 6 year old. And they get it.
- If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. It’s something most of us heard from one or both of our parents/guardians growing up.
- Treat others as you wish to be treated. It’s the golden rule and often touted as a standard of behavior in schools and daycare centers.
- Respect. Responsibility. Right Choices. It’s the motto of my son’s Elementary School.
- Kind words are like honey—sweet to the soul and healthy for the body. It’s in the Bible. Proverbs 16:24 to be exact. Whether or not the Bible is your thing, I think we can all agree on the sentiment of this verse (which happens to be one of my personal favorites).
As adults, most of us expect this behavior, this kindness, this tact out of our children, yet so many adults on the Internet can’t practice it themselves.
Do you know how many kind comments I got on a recent project featured by a large website? Dozens upon dozens. Do you know how many unkind ones I received? Two. While the good far outweighed the bad, the unkind ones are the ones that ran through my mind the rest of the day.
But I got off lucky when my color choice was called “tacky”. The woman whose project they featured after me? These are just a few of the many, many unkind comments on her beautiful work: “It was better before”, “It hurts my eyes”, “I hate it”, “It’s ugly”. “It’s horrible”. And it went on from there. I know for a fact she read all those horrible comments on her hard work. Just because something is not your taste, does not make it ugly or horrible. When others called the negative commenters out, they’d cry “It’s my opinion!” Sorry, but that’s not stating an opinion. That’s being rude and mean. There’s a difference.
Being a blogger means you put yourself out there and that comes with opinions…and that’s great! But there’s a difference between stating your opinion and being rude/mean. For a major introvert like myself, it’s a struggle to put so much out there and not take the unkind criticism personally. There’s a kind way to say, “I would have done this…” or “It’s beautiful but…” and state your opinion without being unkind. But sometimes, perhaps, it’s best to not say anything at all…just keep scrolling! I really don’t understand why people who see something that’s not their cup of tea, feel the need to take the time and energy to leave a negative comment rather than to just keep scrolling.
Even if it’s a silly article on E! Online. Be kind, be tactful, or keep scrolling!
I’ve been blessed that I really haven’t had many unkind comments and I’m so thankful for all of you who make this a positive place to find inspiration and share ideas. Thank you for taking the time to read, comment, pin, and share my posts. I never dreamed my little blog would grow like it has and I’m so blessed to be able to spend so much time creating and writing!
Our words build someone up, or tear someone down. Words are powerful, so let’s all choose our words wisely, because once we’ve said them, they’re awful hard to take back. Ask me how I know.
I’ll end with a quote I saw yesterday that I couldn’t love more…
THROW KINDNESS AROUND LIKE CONFETTI.
Life is hard! Let’s lift each other up and make it a little easier on each other. Let’s just be kind…or be quiet. It’s really that simple. 🙂
You can get a free print of this “Be Kind or Be Quiet” hand-lettered design here.