Don’t Say Anything…

When I was a kid, my mother made sure I was kind and polite, and she often repeated the adage, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” I will admit that even as a young girl, if I wasn’t careful, I would easily tumble into a snarky comment before I could catch myself. But with my mother’s frequent reminders, I learned to think before I spoke—most of the time, at least.

These days, it seems “If you can’t say anything nice…” has gone by the wayside. More and more frequently, it seems people on social media sites are posting comments specifically to pick a fight. I am not naïve enough to think there are so many full-grown adults who are incapable of recognizing inflammatory remarks when they are posting to social media. Kindness just takes a bit of forethought.

If we are trying to discourage our children from engaging in cyber-bullying, why are so many adults modeling the opposite behavior? Why are we so quick to be nasty to others behind the shield of our computers? In the early days of the Internet, online comments were made under a guise of anonymity. Nowadays, people on social media post their comments—anything from nice and complimentary to mean and judgmental—attached to their full names.

The lack of kindness has grown tiresome, and with everything else that’s going on in society, I have decided I am going to opt out of all this negativity. I am going to create a blog exercise designed to promote positivity. The Positivity Project. Now, I’m not going to argue life is all sunshine and rainbows. Not even close. But I am going to suggest that if we look hard enough, we can find something positive in [just about] every situation. And if we get in the habit of looking for the positive, eventually, it will become second nature, and we will notice the positive without looking.

I would like to puncture the bubble of negativity that threatens our society and instead, start a wave of positive feelings, thoughts, and ideas that can carry us forward from here.

Today was positively productive for me. I completed some necessary work, and I was able to do some cleaning and organizing. And now, I invite you to join me! In the comments below, or on your own blog, write about one positive thing from your day.

8 thoughts on “Don’t Say Anything…

  1. While I don’t believe in going around punching holes in people’s bubbles, I do value honesty, even when it’s unsavory.

    I think honesty has lost its value, and find that offline, many people hide the truth behind a cloak of politeness and tact. I hate that more than the cyber bullying.

    My mom taught me a different mantra growing up. “Speak the truth and speak it ever, cost it what it will. He who hides rhe wrong he does, does the wrong thing still.”

    All the best!

    – Alex

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    1. There are all kinds of truth. Yours might not be shared by all and we are certainly in an era of multiple types of truths. Unfortunately.
      However, the thing with tact is that while it might be the truth that someone has really bad teeth that could have been corrected with braces when they were thirteen, but now that they are 37, should you tell them that? Is that a truth that will really benefit anyone? Sure, you’ve said it and it’s true, but you’ve hurt someone who might not have the funds to correct it. Are YOU a better person because of it?
      Honesty does not always need to be spoken. Tact and politeness are signs of respect and I think that that’s something that is missing. Mutual respect and kindness are far more important than speaking the truth if that truth is at the detriment of someone else.
      When we lose kindness in a society, we open ourselves to all types of darkness cloaking themselves as virtue.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I am with you, Sascha. I believe honesty is the best policy, but I also believe that tact and politeness come into play in many instances. Sometimes, as you point out, there is no need to tell someone something. And sometimes, it’s necessary to find a tactful way to tell someone the truth. I believe your last line here says so much. “When we lose kindness in a society, we open ourselves to all types of darkness cloaking themselves as virtue.” I think this gets right to the heart of the issue. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. As you said, there are all kinds of truth. This is especially true when it comes to opinions. We all have them, and they are largely based on our culture, life experiences, and how we were raised.

        You are entitled to yours, and I have no intention of changing your mind. Just saying, I prefer the truth.

        In my opinion, when we lost honesty in a society, we open ourselves to all types of darkness and white lies cloaking themselves as virtue and love.

        All the best!

        ~ Alex

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I think it’s interesting that you say we lost honesty. I don’t think we have even if some individuals are determined to put their own “realities” out there as truth.
        I do believe that what is flourishing extremely successfully, not only in the US, but elsewhere, is a climate of hate. These individuals use “truth” to perpetuate that climate.
        I am not saying that is you. I don’t for one minute think that’s what you mean. However, you’re very correct about life experiences coloring perception, but they also add a significant amount of insight obtained through observation of behavior.
        I don’t believe it’s a choice of having truth or kindness. That’s too black and white. I believe in the gray areas. You don’t need to lie, but nor do you need to be cruel.
        And, this is no offense to you or your mother or anyone else who thinks that honesty at all costs is a rule, but honesty at all costs comes with the caveat of not wanting to take responsibility. I prefer this: in a choice of being right or kind, be kind.
        Thanks, Alex. I always enjoy discussions and exploring ideas! 🙂

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  2. It is such an interesting question, on why some are so quick to be judgemental and put down others. Like your parents, my parents always told me to be nice and be polite to strangers. If I’d say anything bad or cheeky, they’d give me a talk down when we got home. When we’re online, I think some of us might feel we can be anybody – we can be anybody and have our own way. And that really is out ego getting in the way.

    Agree that there is kindness, niceness and positivity in the smallest of ways, and it often starts with us believing in ourselves and wanting to be a better person.

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    1. Based on what you say, there may be such negativity online and in the general community because people are projecting their own self-worth onto others. In that case, my idea to look for the positive in each situation might help! If we want to see a change, it’s always best to start with ourselves. Thank you for taking the time to comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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