If You Can’t Say Something Nice…

  The ghost city… 
My mother- and my grandmother before her, often said two phrases that have guided me along my way; “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all,” and, “Consider the source.” Their words were wise and have helped me through many difficult situations in my life. As someone who writes, these phrases shape the way I choose to write and what I write about, as well. It means a lot to me to never write something that could potentially  hurt someone. I have no right to tell someone else’s story. I feel the same about my own story- my integrity and reputation mean the world to me, and so when someone twists my words and misrepresents my intentions, it really wounds me to the core- and, yes, angers me. I would never want to do that to another human being. That being said- what do you do when someone writes untruthfully  about you in a public forum? How do you stand up without sinking to their level?

I will always do my best to follow a protocol of professionalism and kindness. Words have great power to help people or hurt them, and choosing to write a blog come with a great responsibility. I choose to write about things that are uplifting most of the time- there is plenty of anger in cyber space, and I have no intention of adding to the maelstrom. It is possible to write authentically in ways that don’t involve attacking or slandering people in a public forum, and there are countless wonderful writers who demonstrate that and inspire me every day. In my own writing, I ask myself three questions that I have written about before: AmI being honest? Am I doing what I know in my heart is right? Would  my mother be proud of me? If I can answer yes to these questions, then I can type the words.  I also ask myself if what I am writing can help someone in some way…or am I just writing selfishly out of anger. That is not being authentic- it is being cruel- especially if what I write will knowingly hurt someone. There is another term for it- cyber bullying…something I want no part of. 

There are times when enough is enough, though, and the truth must be told. I am fiercely protective of my friends, and cannot stand by and watch them being attacked if there is something I can do to help. I am also doing my best to learn to speak up for myself when an injustice has been done to me. If we never stand up for what is right, we are condoning and perpetuating the bad behavior with our silence. A difficult balancing act sometimes. I suppose it all comes down to doing our best to move through life with dignity, compassion, kindness, and truth. As a wise friend said recently- what others write about you reflects their truth- not yours. Wise words to remember. 


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