“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you.”
— Matthew 7:12
Looking through my social media feeds, it is easy for me to conclude that many people have little or no desire to be treated well.
No desire for grace or mercy.
No want of forgiveness.
No giving of the benefit of the doubt.
No need for understanding.
No hunger for kindness.
Sound harsh? Perhaps. But I’ve seen the posts. I will shamefully admit to publishing a few unkind post myself. It’s something I’m working on, and being more conscious about.
My social media feeds make it look like an awful lot of us don’t care to be treated well. Honestly, I don’t get it.
I am at a loss to understand why our worst self is all too often what we seem to want people to know about us. Not with every post, but with enough to leave a lasting impression of the kind of people we are.
Why don’t we do better? We can. We should.
All of us, myself included, ought to pause before we send or post. Take a moment to consider whether or not what you have written or are tempted to share treats the person it is for or about the way you want to be treated. Would you want the same things posted about you?
Treat others the same way you want to be treated. The same respect. The same courtesy. The same room for error.
The same grace. The same kindness. The same love.
We can all make our point, share our opinion, and say what we feel needs to be said without resorting to treating people with hate, malice, and disrespect. Without sharing posts and memes that tear down and destroy. Without being and doing the very thing we abhor.
So now what
Before you post or share try doing these things:
Wait to hit send. We all have a reflex to write and immediately hit the send button. Especially when we are excited or agitated.
Don’t do that. Wait at least a minute or two. This gives you time to think about what the message you’re sending, and the tone.
I will often write my posts and replies in Notes or some other app. I’m using Evernote for this blog post. Doing this allows you to easily save and revise your post without having to worry about a rogue send. It also gives me more time to review the post. Often, after I’ve had time to review and think about what I’ve written I find no reason to send it.
Proofread your post. This is always a good idea. It will help you catch all those ugly spellcheck and other errors. Proofreading also gives you another opportunity to slowdown, think about what you have written, and rewrite your draft.
I write this as much to myself as to anyone. It is a reminder to me, and I hope you as well, to do better and to be better. We will all be a lot better off if we stop spreading hate and lies through social media.