The pandemic is uncovering parts of us that are both good and bad. It’s helped me uncover areas I need to work on to be a better more trusting person. You and I are neither good nor evil, but our actions color the picture that others see.
Before you respond angrily to the anonymous post on social media, can you see a picture of a person you’re responding to in your inner vision? Is it a person who perhaps dropped off groceries for an elderly neighbor who couldn’t get out to buy them? Can you see a nurse who is working long hours, and is memory scarred from what she has experienced? Can you visualize the line where the mask made an indentation on her nose? Can you see a mother looking through old albums, thinking about her grown children and wondering when she will be reunited with them? Is it a person who may be worried and scared about making it through the pandemic? Is it a person like you?
Or perhaps you see your old nemesis from school that teased you and caused you embarrassment and pain. Perhaps it’s the boss who overlooked your contribution and spoke over you in a meeting and made you feel both ashamed and angry.
Did you see a person or did you see a challenge? Did you respond with anger or curiosity?
In an angry challenge, it feels okay to call them names and mock them. At that moment, of anger and derision, you get a feeling of satisfaction at your witty takedown. In that moment you feel powerful and in control.
What you write tells me what you saw and how you feel.
If trust is your ability to be open and vulnerable based upon positive expectations about other’s behavior, then anger blocks and obscures trust. It allows us to negate people who disagree with us and cover up uncomfortable feelings of insecurity of not being right. If we don’t have trust, we are not able to learn anything new. It keeps us rooted in the wrong.
What I am feeling often tells me what and why I am trusting.
I love the Rotary rules and believe they can apply to what we write in our posts so we can increase our curiosity and limit the anger that is put on social media.
Is it the TRUTH?
Is it FAIR to all concerned?
Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
Before you respond to a post on social media, take a minute to stop and picture a person you can trust.