I’ve been wondering if I should write this post. It doesn’t have anything to do with the running or triathlon or fitness world other than originating from it. On the other hand, it is a basic common life lesson that NEEDS to be spoken of.
A couple of months ago, there was a difference of opinion on the Internet and some of us who had a different opinion than the person I will call XYZ were blocked on Facebook. While that move made me SMH (Shake My Head), it was XYZ’s choice and that was ok.
And we all moved on. Or so I thought.
In a recent thread on a public group, I was personally called out by XYZ when I had nothing to do with what was being discussed.
At first I was stupefied. Then I was hopping mad. Then as the day progressed, the anger turned into sadness.
I’d always considered the running and tri world to be supportive and friendly. Yes, there are some doucheroos who snidely comment about my inability to be any faster, but 99.98% of the people are nothing but supportive.
What happened was NOT friendly or supportive. It was negative, derogatory and borderline hate.
And bullying. And unkind. I don’t use the term lightly and I’ve had plenty of heated discussions with friends and acquaintances alike but there’s no other word for an action that causes someone to lose sleep and tears over.
For I certainly lost a lot of both over the incident.
Mostly at the unkind jab.
Why the unkindness and malice?
What is it that makes someone be unkind to someone else instead of turning and walking away? We are all passionate people with strong opinions and of course there will be differences in opinion. What is it that makes someone lose sight of that?
Like I said, I wasted a lot of time and energy and happiness in trying to figure out what it was I did that provoked such a strong reaction. I’m going to take the advice of Angela from Team Endured, Stacy and Shawna from Building Block and not try to figure out someone else’s issues. Those issues are not mine even if unfortunately I was the target of it.
My take on life has always been to smile through it. I want to make a change, I want to help make a change. I want to be surrounded by people who want to make a change. And I just cannot understand when someone chooses to deliberately pick on someone else, especially over something trivial and silly.
I’m a firm believer in Newton’s Third Law – every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Put in some cheer and kindness and you will find the same. Kindness begets kindness. As Triathlon Mami reminded me,
What you put into this world, you receive from it. Be responsible for the energy you put into the universe.
If something bothers you, either talk through rationally or walk away. Project positivity and happiness to people and the world around you.
One kind word, one warm smile, one friendly gesture, is all that takes for the world to keep on churning.
It is easy to look back and say “Social Media” with rolled eyes. Yes, social media and Facebook definitely played a part in all this, but in this digital interconnected world, most of us can longer lead separate identities. What happens in the digital realm of relationships bleeds into the real life space.
So be the difference in real life AND in digital life. Make a difference in real life AND digital life. We are all in this world, both the real world and digital world and the running/triathlon world, for a short time.
YOLO. So live with kindness.
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