Watching news clips from the political debates (I can't watch the actual events--makes me crazy) has made me reflect on how, as a society, we've become less respectful to each other. Instead of ignoring jabs and barbs, and responding with grace and consideration, the candidates come back with insults. It's like watching the playground bully go after another kid--we're all bystanders. It's truly fascinating and I can't help but wonder, where has all the civility gone?
I flex my grace muscle every day, all day at work. I don't write about my work much at all on the blog. After all, this is a running blog. But it's been a tough couple of months, and yes, being gracious has been a challenge for me.
In general, most of my interactions are positive. But patients show up late, and I have to explain why I can't see them or why they have to wait while I see the ones who came on time.
There are the frustrated parents who argue with me about my medical management decisions because they are exhausted from caring for a sick child. I understand where they are coming from. I am empathetic. Sometimes that's all I have to offer, and I feel bad about that.
Then there are those parents who come in with their own diagnosis and expect me to give them what they think their child needs. Those are the tough ones. They can be demanding and even insulting.
Already feeling stressed, sometimes it takes every ounce of self-control I possess not to lash back at them.
Has social media made us less accommodating to opinions that differ from our own? Certainly, we all joke about Dr. Google, which has empowered people to self-diagnose. But I see it everywhere. Everyone has become an expert on everything and have become intolerant of anything that differs with their opinions. I've been fortunate that on my own social media sites, I've had very little issue with negative comments. But when I read comments on other sites, I cannot believe the things people post.
Since I follow so many fitness pages on social media, my Facebook feed is filled with positivity. I love this. I forget that I have my running bubble. Where positivity reigns. Unfortunately, this bubble really makes the negative posts really stand out.
I've also seen people use social media to lash out. I recently experienced that personally, and as a person who takes enormous pride in her work ethic, it rocked me to my core. Even though I was right, this person felt the need to express her dissatisfaction with me via social media. There was absolutely nothing I could do about it. There is that whole First Amendment thing.
Instead, I had to rise above the fray. As difficult as this experience was, I had to swallow my pride and continue with a smile on my face. I can't make everyone happy. Taking the high road was the right thing to do. Even though it was the hard thing to do.
A couple of months later, I can look back on this very painful incident and know that I did the right thing.
"I give grace because I so desperately need it."- Lysa TerkeurstEveryone has bad days. But before you post something negative think about the possible implications. Ask yourself: is this something I'd say to that person's face? Is this something I want other people to see? Do I want to be remembered for this?
And if the comment is directed at you, first ask yourself if there is any truth in the comment.
Don't get defensive. While lashing out via social media might immediately feel good, you'll regret it later.
A good rule to remember is: Say it, forget it, write it, regret it. Once it's out there, it's out there.
Take a deep breath. Put your head down and walk away.
Cooler heads prevail.
Instead of spreading the negativity, spread positivity.
Be gracious in all your interactions.
Grace and humility go hand in hand.
Maybe, just maybe it isn't about you.
"Be pretty if you can, be witty if you must, but be gracious if it kills you." -Else De WolfeHow do you react to inflammatory posts? Do you read them and move on? Or do you respond? Have you every been cyberbullied or attacked on social media? If so, what did you do?
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