Recently I have been asked how to deal with negative political postings in online social media. People want to know how they can build an effective online community when some people insist on posting offensive, negative or political posts?This excerpt from my book The Gifts of Community: Changing Your Life by Changing Your World points out that solving the problem doesn’t begin with them, it begins with YOU – and your ability to follow this one simple rule: Don’t be offended.
If you are looking for a reason to be offended, you will find it on the Internet. There is such a wide range of expression, technological limitations on how to express it, and so much room for interpretation it is quite easy to be offended by a post or photo if you want to be. If you are already upset with someone for another reason, you will be able to find yourself disgusted with everything they post. They could post, “I believe in world peace for everyone!” and you could think, “What a show-off!” or “Everyone but me, I am sure!” more »
“This really isn’t a big deal Mom, it is just symbolic.”
Now maybe he was just saying that because he was exhausted from finals. Or maybe he didn’t want to wear the tie I was suggesting. But I knew he was only participating in the ceremony at my insistence. And he wasn’t alone. I have many friends who have been disappointed by their children’s decision to not march with their class and share the commencement ceremony experience.
It is so easy to look at celebrations as frivolous in our hurry-up, too-much-to-do, save-every-penny, don’t-take-a-breath world. For community advocates and world changers, this feels especially true. How can you spend money on a cake when there are children starving? How can you have a party when so many are in poverty? How can you feel deserving of an award when the problems have yet to be solved?
When my son was in high school he and his friends put together a short film called “The Dungeon Questor” to compete in a youth film festival. The story was about a young man who was so captivated by a video game that for many months he never left his basement. He was particularly focused on winning an online tournament, spending hours practicing and exercising, all the while missing out on parties and other fun activities with his friends.
Finally, the day of the competition comes. And in only moments, he is eliminated. The boy is crushed. This was his whole world, lost to him. He finally creeps out of the basement and walks out his front door. He stands on the porch, feeling the sunshine on his face for the first time in months. He listens to the birds, and takes in the beauty of nature.
“This is overrated,” he announces as he turns around, goes back in the house and slams the door. more »