“Praise, like gold and diamonds, owes its value only to its scarcity.” – Samuel Johnson
We live in quite a judgmental time. We watch sports and live television and we tweet or Facebook our thoughts and judgments.
“So-and-so did a crappy job.”
“So-and-so looks stupid.”
“What was so-and-so thinking?”
Then, you have the classic “subtweet” situations where we say something about someone that they will likely see, but post it in a manner that is just vague enough to be played off when push comes to shove. It’s quite easy to judge from the comfort of our phones and computers.
What if, instead, we used those efforts to promote positive things that we see in others? Like, “So-and-so is freakin’ awesome, and here’s why…” Yes, moments exist where constructive criticism is due. That adds something of value. It’s a learning opportunity. Name-calling and insults provide no positive opportunities at all. For instance, if you were to tell me that this particular post wasn’t my best and then explained why you felt that way, I’d be more than happy to listen and hopefully learn how to be better. But, if you were to comment on this to simply tell me it sucked, we’ve both gained nothing.
The next time you’re just about to shred someone, right before you hit that Publish, Update or Tweet button, ask yourself this: is what I am about to say bringing anything of value to the conversation? No, every tweet or status update doesn’t need to be literary gold, but if our words are meant to tear down rather than build up, maybe it’s better to holster those bad boys.
In an often less than positive world, push yourself to swim against that tide. Sometimes it’s really hard, and sometimes it really sucks, and sometimes you absolutely want to harshly lament that fact. Just imagine the reaction before you unleash, and rationalize the power of the outcome.
Now, go something nice to someone.
Have an awesome Saturday,