Sharing Kindness... A little harder than I thought...
When I had the idea to start this blog, I thought it would be easier. The cooking and recipe sharing part is easy, I love to cook and when I come up with a good recipe of my own - I like to share it with others. But the sharing of ideas and the idea of spreading kindness has not been as easy as I thought. I have started writing my next “thoughtful” post several times. Thoughts about kindness and honesty. And then I stop. But what I have been trying to figure out is: why is it so hard? Maybe because sometimes it’s exhausting and I don’t always feel my strength to find kindness in the world. The world we live in right now and the stories I see and things happening around us are exhausting and sad sometimes. I am someone who tries to stay positive, look for the bright side, or try to give someone the benefit of the doubt. Trust me, I try to do it all the time and I know that sometimes it drives my husband and son crazy, especially when they just need to vent about their day and about something that happened. I naturally try to counter their thoughts of what happened to something positive.
Lately, I have thought a lot about how I don’t like the world we live in today. It’s never been perfect and it never will be perfect, I know that. But wow, the last few years seems to have really taken a dive. I have seen things from people that just blows me away. Much of this is from people I don’t know; I just see stories on the news or people in public. But it does sadly include people I have known for years and realize maybe I never really knew them. It makes me sad to think about and it makes it harder for me to stay positive sometimes. I can start going down the rabbit hole on Facebook sometimes, reading stories or just the comments from people about events in the news, and I just end up angry or anxious or stressed out, you name it. It’s not healthy. I won’t even go onto Twitter anymore… Not sure why I ever did, but regret it for sure.
How is it that people can be so unkind to one another or uncaring? And where is the honesty? I mean people lie, politicians lie, and newscasters lie. And I’m talking about lies and misinformation around important topics. Lies that are dangerous to people’s well-being. And there are no rules on the media around it and if anyone seems to try, then people think they lost their rights to free speech. Really? Free speech is one thing, but the purpose was not to be able to lie or hurt others or lie for their own personal gain. I feel like maybe that same person has the right to remain silent too. Hmmmm… there’s a thought. Anyway, I want to ask someone who shares something that is fact checked and found to be wrong, why they would get mad to be informed of that? Or to be stopped from spreading it? Why would you intentionally want to spread lies? And listen, I don’t know that Facebook or any of the Social Media sites get right all the time, but trying to stop the spread of misinformation that is harmful to others, well, why wouldn’t you want them or someone to try.
Like kindness to others, I think honesty is so important. And, just saying that seems like it should be a simple, common sense type of thing. It should be no big deal, but speaking lies of others or sharing lies or unproven “facts” are a huge problem. It’s all over in media, social media and just conversations with people in passing. I’m not talking about the little white lies either. You know like the ones where you tell your kids all the ice cream shops are closed today because you just don’t want to stop. I’m talking about lies that can hurt people. Lies that can hurt people both emotionally and/or physically. I’m talking about lies and misrepresentations meant for gain - whether it’s financially, politically or whatever other personal gain they can get.
And I think, just as bad as the lie itself, it’s the ease at which the lies can be spread that has gotten so out of control. It’s so easy these days to pass on false information and so much so that it can get passed on and on until it starts to seem true. I honestly feel like people have actually seemed to lose common sense (or maybe in some cases never had any??) and believe that if it’s on the internet, it has to be true, right? Or if it’s written in a meme over the face of some beloved actor, that must mean he or she said it and that’s its true… Sheesh… Come on people… Also, just because something you see has a bunch of numbers or percent signs behind it, if it seems a bit radical to believe, then it likely is not true or at least not completely true. I mean the sad thing is that 95% of people over the age of 45 are 78% more likely to believe everything they see on the internet then 88% of 20 year olds. Can you believe that? Those are very scary and convincing numbers, aren’t they? I mean really, can you believe that? Ok, please don’t because I just made that up… (See what I did there and how easy that was?)
With the internet at our finger tips, it seems it’s easier to take something at face value and pass it on. I, myself, have shared something during a political debate that I had believed to be true, but after research, found that it was only half true and misleading and I admittedly didn’t take the time research it. I just passed it on. I did later retract my post and argument and admitted to being wrong. But the trouble is, who has time to research? Even with the ease of the internet and the endless amount of ways to research, people still don’t often take the time. And you know what? You don’t have to and I’m not asking anyone to. But I am asking this… if you don’t have time to research it, then don’t take the time to share it. Plain and simple. Sharing something that you don’t know if it’s true or real and that could hurt others only worsens the problem and sends the incorrect message on to more and more people.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to take the fun out of Facebook posts and all the silly meme’s out there. I have friends who share and post all kinds of silly jokes and puns and fun cat or dog memes. Share away! Just make sure what you are sharing is in fun and not hurtful to others and if it’s something important, something that you believe is true and are trying to share a real message of current events or political topics, etc., then please take the time to make sure that it is actually true and can be backed up with research and resources. If you can’t do that, then please skip the need to share it.
So then that leads me to a few million dollar questions: how do you know who to believe? Who is right? Who is wrong? It’s really amazing to me watching recent events in the world unfold and how people can be so strong willed to help and protect others and honestly and truly believe in their cause and have others stand so far on the other side of that stance, and also believe that they are right as well. So who is right? This is where it gets tricky. This is where it gets in to facts versus opinions. Facts can be proven. There should be no arguments on facts. An opinion is a view or judgment formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge. People can have differences in opinion but not differences in facts. I also think there is a need for common sense and just critical thinking. But unfortunately it seems for many, this is a big ask.
Listen if you’ve stuck with me so far on this post, I appreciate it, whether you agree with me or not on all points. I don’t like being angry at the world and I don’t like to be mean or never intend to be. So if anything I said offended you while reading this, please understand that is not my intent. But maybe it can open a chance to discuss why it did. In the end, I feel like politics has really caused a divide for people and down to the point where things that should have nothing to do with politics at all, are now debated as such. Being kind to others and taking care of each other is not and should never be a political stance. NEVER. Period, explanation point, end of story. Protecting all people and their health and their lives and their families is not a political stance. Not everyone is going to agree on everything all the time, but protecting each other should not be something that is so difficult to agree on.
I will end by saying again, we don’t all need to agree all the time. You don’t even need to always agree with people in your same political party or family or group of friends. Conversations should be had and in a civil way. If you don’t understand something, ask questions and be kind, and be understanding. Also, remember, you don’t always know what someone
else is going thru or what they may be dealing with. Just please try to remember to be kind to each other always.