Saturday, 29 October 2016

Magnify Strengths

...Not weaknesses.

So often these posts begin with the words “We live in a world that...”, and this one is no exception to that rule.

We live in a world that tears people down. The goodness in people is diminished in favour of tearing them down for what others see to be negative aspects. In a world where distressing news stories and violence are broadcast 24/7, it's hardly surprising that many people react to everything, including the people around them, with negativity.

Slowly things are beginning to change. More and more people are realising that a world where negativity is used as a currency to climb imaginary ladders is unsustainable. There are communities springing up on social media to help promote positive messages and thought patterns. Websites are dedicated to reporting the happier and lighter side of the news.

I go through a lot of it. As well as this blog (which I try to keep as positive as possible), I also run another site. The other site attracts a lot of users and, as such, a lot of different personalities. Our rules include what is expected of users, including the need to be nice to one another (we use the famous House of Blues “Be Nice or Leave” quote). Most of the time everyone gets on just fine and it's generally a happy place that we've lovingly nicknamed “Like a spa. Except with writing”. When we took it over in 2014 our aim was to turn it in to an online ocean of calm where people could come to chat and create. Thankfully, 99% of the time, that's exactly what it is.

Sadly, there are times when ugliness rears its head. It can be in the form of someone reacting badly to another user's comments or to a request from the admins. Often they speak in a way that's designed to make the recipient feel bad. It's surprising how black words on a white background can make you feel and the awful feeling of the messages can be overwhelming. I've been called everything from a whore to being on a par with North Korea and it's in those moments when my weaknesses, instead of my strengths, are being magnified.

Being in the midst of that can be distressing and I admit that, at times, I've handled things in a way that's probably inappropriate such is the feeling of negativity that I'm receiving from the other end. Dealing with how I'm feeling can be hard and, more often than not, I take a few days out to heal myself. Thankfully I'm surrounded by a group of very loving people who remind me that there's always light, even on the darkest of days.

It's time to stamp out the constant petty criticisms. There's so many ways to make the world a better, happier place. If someone does something you like, say something. Send an email or write a note to a friend. Praise the people around you. Make them laugh and lift them up. Find inspirational communities, both on and off-line. Spend less time on social media and more doing the things you love. Make yourself, and everyone you're with, happy. Live life to the fullest and do it with a smile on your face!

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