Back to From the Editor

Be Nice.

     
 

Drugs.
Rape.
Murder.
Poverty.
Hunger.
Abuse.
Crippling debt.
War.
Racism.
Sexism.
The rest of the –isms…
  We have a lot problems in the world and in our country. One issue we really shouldn’t add to the list is general unkindness.
  When did we, as a society, begin to believe that it is OK to be so blatantly mean to people?
  I am guilty of having some not so nice thoughts about people. Something I know I need to work on. However, it would never occur to me to say something to someone with the intention of picking them apart or hurting their feelings.
  I don’t know if it a by-product of the internet and the anonymity that it offers, or if we have just become so self-absorbed that it doesn’t occur to us that the words that we are saying could be hurtful to someone else.
  ‘Keyboard Warriors’ have always been infamous for hiding behind their computers and saying whatever they want with no consequence, however, more and more I am seeing people being outright malicious to people to their face with nothing more than the intention of being cruel.
  Why? What do you have to gain by being so nasty to other people? Does it really make you feel that much better to tear someone else down? What about other people has that much of an effect on your life that you can’t possibly get through the day without saying something mean about them or to them. What happened to the ‘Golden Rule’? You remember that right? ‘If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.’
  We live in a world where school bullying is at an all time high. This isn’t schoolyard bullying from back in the day. This is pointedly cruel. Focusing on kids’ weakness and going after them until kids feel like they have nowhere to turn and nothing they can do about it.
  Do we really need to add to that by constantly showing them terrible examples of adult behavior by being unnecessarily cruel ourselves?
  The answer is no. It doesn’t take any more effort to be nice than it does to be mean. Actually, it probably takes less, because even if you can’t be nice – you could do nothing, say nothing. See – no effort and no one is hurting.
  Can you imagine what the world would look like if we all made an effort to just be nicer to one another? If instead of tearing people down, we instead chose to build them up?
  Imagine this with me for a second. You are in your local coffee shop and there are two women in front of you. They are loudly discussing the woman in front of them. “OMG do you see her outfit? Ugh, who wears something like that?” You’ve been there, we all have. Now imagine if instead you heard, “Hmmm, her outfit isn’t really for me, but her hair is amazing.”
  Now you know the woman would have heard both conversations, imagine how each would affect the rest of her day? Really, neither conversation is necessary, because really – why does anyone care what she’s wearing? But the two conversations would have two very different impacts on her.
  Whoever said, ‘sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me,’ is quite frankly, a liar. A big-pants-on-fire-George Washington and the cherry tree-I am not a crook-no new taxes-liar.
  Words hurt. Word will stick with you. Please use yours wisely.