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South Williamsport, PA
United States

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A Reminder

Sometimes, I go through old issues, and I find subjects that I feel need revisiting. This was one of those weeks. A couple of years ago I talked about the need to be NICE. We live in a world filled with drugs, rape, murder, poverty, hunger, homelessness, mental and physical abuse, crippling debt, political discourse,

Sometimes, I go through old issues, and I find subjects that I feel need revisiting. This was one of those weeks. A couple of years ago I talked about the need to be NICE. We live in a world filled with drugs, rape, murder, poverty, hunger, homelessness, mental and physical abuse, crippling debt, political discourse, war, racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia…the list goes on. And yet, we still manage to find the time and energy to be mean to people.

When did we, as a society, begin to believe that it is OK to be so blatantly nasty to people?
Listen, we are all guilty of having rude and mean thoughts about people. Judging them. I’m not saying it’s OK, or that it isn’t something we should all work on doing less, but there is a marked difference in having those thoughts and voicing them.

I think this is a by-product of the internet and the anonymity that it offers. Or maybe 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. We live in a ‘selfie’ world. Maybe it’s time we removed the filters and really looked at ourselves and how we treat each other.

‘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.

Not only is bullying at an all-time high but — and I’m sure it’s not a coincidence — the number of school shootings is unacceptably high.

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 kind 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 just to be nicer to one another? If instead of tearing people down, we instead chose to build them up?
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-you need ID at the grocery store liar.

Words hurt. Word will stick with you. Please use yours wisely.

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