My personal candidate was Marco Rubio, and I greatly respected Ben Carson as well. If Vice President Joe Biden had thrown his hat into the race, I would have had a candidate in each party. I guess I should be glad I never had to face the problem of liking too many players in the game!
Don’t get me wrong, unlike most people, I don’t feel any animosity toward Hilary Clinton or President-Elect Donald Trump. I respect many of the things they’ve done in life, including their children. Are they perfect? No more so than you or I. I wish both of them a world of happiness and success in life. I have no time for or inclination toward hate, bitterness, or resentment – so if you’re waiting for me to spew any ugliness, you’ll be sorely disappointed. I leave the judging to God.
I only point these facts out because there is an unreal amount of hate swirling around these days and I don’t want anyone thinking I have a political agenda. I have no such thing. What I have is a “happy agenda” and I’ve had a bad case of it for as long as I can remember.
I want people to be happy! Not just the “smile on their face” kind of happy, either. I want people to be so happy and so in love with life that they find it almost impossible to sit still.
The present emotional climate in the world is stormy with signs of getting worse before it gets better. And this from an eternal optimist! I take no joy in pointing it out, but if you expose yourself even slightly to social media or mainstream news, you already know this assessment is spot on.
Is this a tragic situation? No…… It is what it is. History is filled with tragedies – any fellow history buffs reading this are already nodding their heads in agreement. The Boston Massacre, the Trail of Tears, Slavery, the Civil War, Concentration Camps, and on and on. Those were unspeakable, unimaginable, and gut-wrenching tragedies.
History is also filled with protests, marches, anger, and the other situations we are seeing on an almost daily basis. These periods come and they, eventually, go.
One of my mom’s favorite quotes was, “This, too, shall pass.” Eventually, the anger, raging, fighting, and lashing out will die down. In the meantime, I want to encourage as many people as I possibly can not to “lose” yourself in the ugliness. If that means removing yourself from it – as in getting off of social media or cutting back on the news – do it. Do whatever it takes.
I, personally, (as a web publisher) have to stick it out. Sometimes it feels like I’m standing out in the rain without an umbrella. My main social media activity is on Twitter and, within just the past two years, the rain has felt more like a raging storm…
- I’ve seen close friends go at one another in ways I’d never have thought possible. All because they disagreed on a Presidential candidate!
- I’ve seen wonderful, easy-going Christian men and women who once tweeted encouraging and uplifting messages become so filled with hate and anger that their tweets should come with warning labels.
- Put simply, hate and anger are absolutely everywhere – celebrities, corporations, news outlets, social media platforms… they’re all getting into the mix.
As I said earlier, the emotional climate in the world isn’t what I’d call tragic. However, I’ll tell you what IS tragic – seeing people lose who they are and what they stand for. It’s tragic to see individuals become so consumed with hate and anger that they cannot even carry on civil conversations. People have lost the ability to civilly disagree with others. They’ve lost the ability to accept that others have opinions that may be different from their own.
People today have the mindset of, “I’m right and if you don’t agree with me, you are wrong.” But they don’t just stop there… they will unload on anyone and everyone with name-calling, belittling, accusations, and venomous anger.
Simply for having a different opinions.
So where do we go from here? In addition to praying (day and night!) for things to change, we have to be on guard. We have to make sure that we don’t allow others to steal our joy. We also have to be on constant guard for something else – we have to make sure we don’t turn into them. Think of a zombie movie for a minute. What’s the worst possible thing to happen in a zombie movie? For the hero or heroine to become a zombie – for them to become the vile, cruel, and.. let’s face it… downright ugly zombie.
If we give the bitter, angry crowd too much of our time, our hearts, and our thoughts… we will slowly become more and more like them. What a revolting thought!
Who in their right mind would want to spend so much time angry, bitter, resentful, and mean-spirited – all while being constantly on the prowl for something else to get upset about.
A few nights ago, I saw a young man (who, a year ago, was one of the calmest, happiest people on all of Twitter) – within a span of 30 minutes – verbally attack THREE different groups of people. Not one, not two.. but three. He hurled accusations and made a bitter little spectacle of himself. I instantly thought back to who he used to be and felt kind of sick to my stomach. Slowly but surely, he lost himself.
I hope that hasn’t happened to you and, if you’re close to “the line,” I hope this will serve as a reminder.
- Unfollow any social media accounts that spew negativity and ugliness. EVEN if they’re simply reporting news – some news accounts are inherently negative and, trust me, you don’t need that in your life.
- If you see a news story coming on that you know will “stick with you,” turn the channel. You aren’t going to lose any life points by not knowing all the news stories.
- Each day – throughout the day – ask yourself, “Who do I want to be?” Frequently reminding yourself that you want to be happy, positive, encouraging, and giving will help you keep from slipping into anger and will keep you from throwing an adult temper tantrum… which is possibly the ugliest thing in the entire world. Yes, even uglier than zombies. Before speaking, “tweeting,” or even “retweeting” get into the habit of asking yourself, “Is this the person I want to be?”
- Spend more time doing what brings you joy. Enjoy sports on tv, watch old movies, read Agatha Christie mysteries (or your own favorite author, of course!), watch the History Channel, cook, take up a new hobby, play with your pet, walk… whatever your bliss is, don’t just walk to it, run to it. When “times are rough,” like they currently are, you need these blissful moments more than ever.
Life is short and we aren’t going to get a second shot in this life. Please don’t spend it worked up about things that are beyond your control. It isn’t good for your family, your mind, your happiness, or your health. Don’t let anyone or anything steal your joy.
Ironically, after typing out well over 1,00 words, I think we can sum it all up in two: Choose happiness.
~ Joi (“Joy”)