Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness (c) 2018 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries
An ex-friend once trolled me on Twitter using a fake name. She miscalculated when she thought I would miss the obvious. Of course I knew it was her.
Trolls. Social media, while intended to join diverse worlds and connect friends, early became a pawn for gossips, rumor mills, conspiracy theorists, and opinions without facts. What struck me in the case of my ex-friend, was the wicked-witch style joy she found in trolling and shutting out the free speech of others. If she could cause a website she did not like to shut down, she actually rejoiced!
Masked Bandits. Not everyone is vicious and calculating like her. However, plenty of people cause harm with their ignorance. Behind the social media “mask” of no eye-contact, voice inflection, or body language, those who would judge and rebuke make assumptions based on emotions, projection, or limited experience.
Cowards Perceived anonymity makes a coward bold. Bragadociousness is a cover. Anyone can say “I would have done differently” when not faced with another person’s challenge. Identifiable false accusers will do almost anything to save face in hopes that someone, anyone will see them for who they are not – brave.
The above characters are people you do not want to quote if you wish to maintain integrity. Somewhere, inside the brains of people who relish fleeting moments of power by being “in the know,” is a disconnect. Being proved wrong repeatedly does not faze them. I do not know about you, but making a fool of myself is something I try to avoid.
Do you want to bypass momentary flashes of power and gain actual respect? LISTEN.
Each time you are tempted to think, “I know already” or “I don’t need to know,” pause and listen. Grasp humility with all your might. It requires less sheer will power to stop talking, stop moving, stop processing and listen when you know you cannot know everything about any situation.
By listening we gain insight we would not otherwise have. Listen to your family, customers, friends, and those who would influence you. Make mental or actual notes. These will help prepare you for daily practice number two.
Do you want to avoid dying the thousand deaths of a coward? ASK.
Proactively asking questions, maybe especially when it seems unnecessary, opens windows into what lay beyond the surface. Cowards avoid perceived conflict at all costs unless they know they can win. Instead, ask for clarification when uncertain. Face difficult facts and take responsiblity when wrong. Exercising genuine interest in others and their points of view will leave you smarter in the end.
Ask the hard questions of a claim or situation to protect yourself and others. Ask why and how, and follow the rewards if you wonder who is telling the truth. Look at whole persons instead of moments in time. Be wise.
Would you like your legacy to be one of knowledge and strength of character? DOUBLE CHECK FACTS and CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES.
Question ALL marketing. Look for scholarly journals on topics instead of believing what you see. Use Snopes.com and other fact-checking sources before repeating what you hear. Do not panic when the “latest” sounds horrific. Wait. The facts will rise. Truth can withstand scrutiny.
There is a reason the boy who cried wolf eventually could not find anyone to believe him. Too many words and opinions will lead to other people tuning you out. Save your voice for the most important issues. If you have something vital to say, it will be more effective if you have an audience left to hear it.
Not every idea is a good one. Not every good idea is a best one. Unless you are in a purposeful brain-storming session, not every thought is important to repeat.
It’s obvious, obviously
Not everything we read, hear, or believe is the truth. By listening in humility, asking with genuine interest, double checking the facts, and choosing our battles, we leave the world of the petty behind and reach for integrity that inspires others.
Today’s Helpful Word
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer
**********COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME.
NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.
If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help are yours.