People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom.
-Thich Nhat Hanh
There’s something that’s been eating slowly away at me. It’s humanity’s willingness to embrace the negativity in others without question, while seemingly struggling to accept the positive.
Falsehoods and slander spread like wildfire across social media. Even when it’s the same old “news” that has been debunked for years or maybe even decades. It seems to be summed up pretty well with the e-card that continues to circulate showing an image of Abraham Lincoln with a quote attributed to him stating, “The thing about quotes from the ineternet is that it’s hard to verify their authenticity.
And yet, rather than questioning and thinking about items, it seems as though people will usually accept a negative item at face value, but question the positive.
Why? Whatever happened to the thought that, while flawed and broken, people are, by nature, more apt to try and do positive than they are negative?
My thought is that this shows, more than just a commentary on people as individuals, that the nation has a whole has become very egocentric (as others have been saying for quite some time and I don’t intend to really try to address in this,) lost it’s religion.
By buying into the negativity spread about others, we’re able to point at it and essentially say, “Wow, look how bad they are. Can you believe this?” The unspoken comment though, is “I am better than this person because I would never do such a thing.” Rather than seeing the brokenness and empathizing by acknowledging the brokenness in ourselves, we’re trying to elevate ourselves above that on our own.
It doesn’t work that way.
The latest packet of negativity I have seen circulating is a post about Jane Fonda that has been circulating the internet for years now. While most of the information contained within that packet has been debunked, (by those that wrote it initially even,) people still willingly accept it as fact and forward it on it’s way to others. Yes, she spoke out against what was, and still is, seen as a very controversial war. Yes, she met with the opposing forces and asked our side to stop bombing the North. Yes, she even said something very negative about returning veterans which I will not quote here.
She has admitted that she will regret that comment till the day she dies.
Have you never said anything that you have regretted once the words passed your lips? I know I have. I immediately cringed once the words were out, knowing that I couldn’t take them back. Because I made a mistake, should it be held over my head for the rest of my life? Or should my seeking forgiveness be enough to encourage others to let it go; not necessarily to forget, but at least to forgive and move forward?
By refusing to use negativity circulating social media and the internet as a means to making ourselves feel holier than though, we accept the situation for what it is; a chance to minister and hopefully, water the seeds planted in others.
If we point out that yes, this person made a mistake but I did as well, we can hopefully get people to think and reflect on their own lives. Stones aren’t always physical clumps of minerals that one can hold in their hand and throw. They can be pixilated as well. So before throwing another stone, just because others before you have already begun, think. Are you missing an opportunity to share your story of how you were once broken like the person being targeted and have now been restored?
I can’t believe what she said
I can’t believe what he did
Oh, don’t they know it’s wrong, yeah?
Don’t they know it’s wrong, yeah?
Maybe there’s something I missed
But how could they treat me like this?
It’s wearing out my heart
The way they disregard
This is love, this is hate…
We all have a choice to make
Tenth Avenue North- Losing