Why can’t we be friends?

I happened to be on a news site earlier, and I read the article. I never normally scroll all the way down, but this time my computer decided to make the jump for me. I guess I’ve never paid an excessive amount of attention to the comment section at the bottom of online news pieces, but since my computer decided to freeze there, I took a minute to peruse the comments. I’m not sure what I expected, but the venom injected into so many of the comments was jarring. People are looking to fight. Looking to be mean. Seemingly looking to make others feel terrible about their own ideas or any idea that may be in any way different from what said commenter has decided is the “right way” to feel.

Now, I know people are mean online. I know people are looking to say ridiculous things. But it made me think about just how much time and energy is put into this kind of thinking. And not even in an “internet troll” type of way, but every day. (I just learned what internet trolling is, I’m behind.) We are so comparative in the way we view ourselves. We look at others to judge what they are wearing, what they are eating, what they are thinking. The sole purpose is to judge. If you’ve ever read The Four Agreements, by don Miguel Ruiz, the first agreement is to “Be Impeccable with Your Word.” And by this he means that we have to understand the power of our words, the impact that they have on others, but also on ourselves. Those are our thoughts. That’s what we are spending our time, energy and brain power thinking about. In essence, we are thinking about “how can I look at that person in a way that makes me feel better about the choices I’ve made?” We use looking at others and thinking about them as reinforcement for who we are, but when all we are is someone who spends all their time judging others, we are contributing very little to who we can be. That is time that we don’t get back.

There is so much criticism about everyone’s choices (and media surely plays into this) that we forget that everyone here is just human. We are all people trying to live our lives as best we can at each point in the day. We all have lows, we all have highs. We ALL make mistakes. We make poor choices. We say the wrong thing. We engage in things we know we shouldn’t. We all get sad. We all get mad. We all get confused. We are alive. So wouldn’t our time be much better spent building one another up, recognizing that we all fall short sometimes and instead of judging others on what we perceive to be shortcomings, encouraging one another. Not saying, “hey why are you doing that or why are you wearing that?” and instead allowing it to be okay for someone to make different choices than we might. (Unless of course their choices are putting them in danger – this is a completely different subject – always try to find someone who can help in that case!)

There is so much negativity in the world. Instead of feeding into it, create a spark against it. Feed encouragement. Feed hope. Feed kindness and love. THESE are the things we need more of, all of us. Kind words help us climb peaks. They help us reach the summit. And as we speak them they transform us into the kind of person we want to be. Someone who makes the world a better place. Kindness makes us a contributor. It is through our actions that people learn who we are. It’s up to us to make our actions count.

About laurenc129

I'm a mom. Sometimes my hands turn orange. Other times I write. On twitter: @laurenc129

Posted on October 22, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 35 Comments.

  1. I agree with you wholeheartedly. If people would practice the random act of kindness mentality more often, the world would be a much kinder and gentler place to live. Thanks for visiting my blog, and be sure to come visit me again.


  2. Thank You!!! for this post. It is wonderful and it makes you start believing in GOOD PEOPLE agian. Thank You


  3. Reblogged this on INSIGHT.


  4. It’s easy to be negative, and so often the negative person is proven right, because life can be hard, dark things happen. But we also make them more likely to happen, we bring out the darkness, with our dark thoughts. If we focus on the positive, and try to make that happen instead, we push against that dark tide, and we do win sometimes. If we don’t do it, what does that say about our belief in ourselves, in our own spark of divinity? I would rather someone said about me: “Despite it all, she enjoyed all the days she was given.” Instead of: “She was right, her life was one long misery, and she didn’t deserve all that unhappiness.” I like your post that encourages us to push against that dark tide. Thanks!


  5. I am very happy you stopped by my blog. We have much in common. The Four Agreements was a big life changer for me. I used to stay in a hole of despair over the judgements and general meanness of the people around me. I seemed to absorb it all and of course question my own value. When we understand the laws of perception and the powerful influence that has over the psyche, things at least become more understandable. Thanks for your post. They express my own sentiments exactly.


  6. Great post and so true, sad to say. Ruiz’s book The Four Agreements changed my life when I read it a few years ago. A simple plan that could change the world, internet and otherwise. Thanks!


  7. Well put! Thanks, I totally needed to read this today. I was actually getting down on myself thinking I was TOO POSITIVE and that people don’t take me seriously because of that. This reinforces that I am good. Brought tears of relief to my eyes — you don’t know! 🙂


  8. The old adage ‘If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all’ comes to mind. Well put:-)


  9. Very well put! If everyone would put as much energy into being nice to other people as they do being unkind, there would be a lot more happy people in this world.


  10. Exactly why I don’t read them anymore. Great post :-).


  11. Wandering Voiceless

    Very thoughtful, thanks for sharing.

    I can’t even read comments on news articles anymore… they just make me too angry, and I don’t have the time and space to spend that kind of energy on people who 1.) have nothing better to do with their time than hurl insults at people they don’t know and about topics they know nothing; 2.) will never change and it’s not my job to change them; and 3.) wouldn’t be responsive to any positive comments I may try to change their mind with.

    Instead, I spend my time reading positive and uplifting posts like yours.



  12. I too feel like you that kindness and love are the qualities to use what dealing with everyday people and circumstances. When this is done I believe it has a domino effect and so is passed on …. and then on….This can only be good. There should be no need to tear one another apart… Diane


  13. Great post and thanks for the reminder about the Four Agreements. I agree with you totally. News comments sections can be a bit of a shock, though as I’ve read more I find I’m not as shocked as I used to be…which is a sign I should stop reading them! Thank you:-)


  14. Oh yes. I heaved a big sigh reading this because, while I agree 110%, I know I am judgemental far more than I would like to be, particularly as a parent. I am always comparing my choices with other people’s to try and feel better about the thousands of tiny decisions I make everyday that affect the way my children are and behave. I know I’m not getting it right so I look for people I think are getting it more wrong than me to make me feel better. I’m not trying to make excuses but I do think the media and the rise in social media is a significant factor. We used to live quite isolated lives, mostly surrounded by people with similar values to ours. Now we have the whole world at our fingertips and we’re trying to find where we fit.
    The anger, the attack, is possibly in proportion to our own insecurities. (That said, I hope I’ve never left a mean comment anywhere. It tends to be contained in my brain, surrounded by guilt at my reactions and thoughts!)


    • I do it all the time as a parent, too. It’s just so easy. And I’ve been reminding myself to take notice of it over the past few weeks and trying to stop looking at things that way and figuring out something nice to replace the thoughts with. You’re right, though, social media makes it hard to resist. And it does turn into that cycle of anger and guilt and all of those wonderful things that we can all do with less of!! Thanks for sharing on here. I really appreciate it! 🙂


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