This post has nothing to do with projects or crafts...I just have some things on my mind that I've been thinking about.
I've been thinking a lot lately on how we treat one another. Especially how we treat one another online. With so many bloggers out there now, it seems as though the world of critics has vastly expanded. I mean, I get it, you put yourself out on the Internet, you make yourself vulnerable to criticism whether you ask for it or not, but does that give everyone else the go ahead to say what they please?
I used to think that celebrities were ok to criticize. I figured they knew what they were getting into when they got into the business they did, and that they were somehow immune to people making fun of them...or even that they were not real people. Well, the fact is, is that they are real people, a truth that their mothers can solemnly attest to. Is it alright for us to make fun of these people we've never met, know nothing about, and have no idea what they are individually struggling with? What does it accomplish to critique their clothing, their hair, etc.? Maybe it's just our own insecurity that we don't have the money and freedom to choose so many different kinds of fashions.
I don't care if I was the most successful actress out there, grossing the most per movie than anyone else. It would still hurt my feelings to see people dissect every outfit I wore, every sentence I uttered, every hair on my head. Especially if I had never met that person, and that person was just an everyday blogger/columnist who didn't know the first thing about me or my life. I would wonder, "what have I ever done to that person??"
Really, that's a great question, what have they ever done to us? You don't like a movie they were in?? Don't watch it! You don't like an outfit they chose?? No one's forcing you to think that it's cool! You don't agree with their political stance?? Don't listen to them, and turn the channel when they come on TV. It's simple.
Now, with the world-wide blogging craze, this need to critique everyone and everything has just spread like wild-fire! I have read several blogs that have talked about extremely rude comments left in their comment boxes. I have read blogs that criticize other bloggers. Some of them are just so mean-spirited, from showing off "Lame Ideas", stealing bloggers' pictures to showcase how lame an idea is, to calling people fat in their comment boxes, or even wannabes (do people still use that word, or am I just lame?). Even entire websites are now set up for the sole purpose of making fun of people, such as Awkward Family Photos, and People of Wal-mart.
I was really sent over the edge this last week when I saw a pin on Pinterest. It was one of those "funny" motivational posters, whose picture was a mother with her daughter. The caption was "Reincarnation". Underneath that, it said, "Welcome back Chris Farley, you've been missed." The poster suggested that the little baby girl in the picture was a replica of Chris Farley.
What upset me, was that this was actually some one's family photo. Some mother just wanted to get a picture with her daughter, someone who she cares deeply about, no doubt. She likely shared it with friends and family via Internet, and for some reason, somebody thought it would be a good idea to swipe the picture, and make fun of a precious little girl's appearance, just so they could have a laugh, and make others think they are just so hilarious.
Imagine if that was you. Imagine you took your child to get special pictures taken with him/her. Then, as you proudly send them off to family and friends, you find it's the newest joke spread over the whole face of the earth. That would be heartbreaking. You would yearn that someone, just one person, would stand up for you, and say "That's really rude", but to your disappointment you find that each new day, the picture circulates to a different part of the world, creating all new groups of people who are laughing...at your child's expense. It makes me sick thinking about how that would feel.
And what was accomplished?? What is accomplished by making fun of people? What is accomplished by letting everyone we know that we think someone else's outfit is ugly? What is accomplished by saying that someone is a bad actor/musician/photographer/seamstress? What is accomplished when we give into the sickening need to tell everyone that so and so is NOT pretty, and IS fat, and is NOT original, and does NOT have style??? NOTHING!!! We think it lifts us up to be able to critique others, but it really drags us down! It makes others critical of you, and it makes us uglier people on the inside when we care so much about what other people are doing.
Some people seem to believe that the Internet is this a place where they can say what they want to no consequence...but they're wrong. Hurt feelings are just as strong through computer screens as in person. The point is, that it's never ok to laugh at someone else's expense. If you're putting other people's style down so that it makes people think you are fashion savvy, then try focusing more on your own fashion than everyone else's. Are you trying to get people to think that you are funny? Then try making jokes that don't put others down.
I'm not trying to be all preachy, and I'm definitely not perfect, but it is something I've thought about lately. Maybe we can all at least just try to catch ourselves amid trash-talking and think of something more positive to talk about. Maybe we can be that one person who stands up for someone else who is being made fun of. Let's try harder to lift each other up, rather than drag each other down, because, as we say in my church,
"Charity Never Faileth".