"I expect to pass through this world but once; any good therefore I can do, or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." -Stephan Grellet
I suppose I am just like any other twenty-something: I love my social media. But lately, being on social media frustrates me. While we have many good people who write inspiring and uplifting posts, we also have people who insist upon writing negative opinions about people when it is simply not their place to do so. It saddens me. It hurts me. And above all, the intolerance people show others upsets me to my very core.
When did it become acceptable for people to ignore all basic courtesies in our world?
You are entitled to your opinions. That is a basic human right. But there is a fine line to walk when you start blurting your opinions everywhere - whether it be on social media or in a conversation with people. Just because you want to say them does not mean everyone wants to hear or read them, especially if it is hurtful to others. Words beget action. Action produces consequences, good or bad. It is important to remember to guard our words and actions when the situation calls. It is never good to use words or actions that hurt. Regarding media, I will tell you what I tell my students:
Do not use social media as a tool to lash out at others or say unkind things. However minor it may seem to you, it is the act of a coward to do such things. The hurtful words you write may have a big impact on the person to which it is directed. Be kind and do not post negative things about other people on your social media (even when you do not think they can see them). The internet is public. Remember that.
Switching gears, we all have regrets in life. My biggest regrets are the ones that involved my choosing to look away when I could have helped someone in his or her time of need. Once the moment had passed, it was lost. Forever. And I could not help but wonder, what if I had helped?
A good majority of our population has an overarching goal in life: to make a difference. There is one idea that we often overlook with this goal: that depending on how we act, we can impact the world either positively or negatively. It is a two-sided coin. We are just as likely to hurt our world as we are to help it. How we choose to approach it is what determines the difference we make - good or bad. Stephan Grellet, an American Quaker missionary (1773-1855), once stated, "I expect to pass through this world but once; any good therefore I can do, or any kindness I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again." I shall not pass this way again. What a powerful statement. If only it were easier to remember that our time living should be spent doing good and showing kindness.
Out of respect for others (and to put it simply, the golden rule), please do not say or write hurtful things. Refrain from commenting on that post. Do not ridicule an acquaintance's wardrobe. If you see someone doing something unkind, gently remind them not to. If our goal is to make a difference, let us make a positive difference. Help our world, not hurt it. Whether it be social media or your daily life activities, show kindness. For [we] shall not pass this way again.