I posted a picture on my Instagram Story a while ago…it was something I found on Facebook that was really bothering me. *see below*
This picture shows subtle hate comparing Greta Thunberg and Boyan Slat. It’s giving Greta some backlash about her work on climate change, and honestly I just think it’s unnecessary.
Let me say that the point of this post has nothing to do with climate change or Greta or Boyan. I don’t want this to turn into a political discussion.
But someone DM’d me from that Story and said to me, “This whole post caught me by surprise because I didn’t even recognize any hate on that post. And to be honest, I still don’t…does that mean that I’m immune to it in any way? Like, it’s become so common it’s hard to detect?”
She and I talked about that for a while, and honestly it was great because she’s a gem of a human being and I think we both learned so much from talking to each other!
But the conversation I had with her made me realize what one of the biggest issues we are facing today is.
The Big Problem the World is ACTUALLY Facing
I think there are many people who don’t even realize how desperate the world actually is for kindness.
And that’s because the negativity that actually affects your life and is swallowing us all whole is SILENT. It’s sneaky as hell. And it’s subtle.
Have you ever thought about how…normal…it is to be an asshole in today’s society? People expect other people to be jerks. Negativity of any capacity is now a normalized thing, and that might be its most dangerous weapon.
We all know when negativity hits its worst peak. That’s *pretty much* war or physical violence of any kind…and obviously, all that stuff is bad.
But in the grand scheme of things, I don’t think those things are when negativity wins. Society as a whole has had many many wars in the past, and we’ve recovered from all of them eventually. (Please note: I’m not downplaying the reality of war, here. It’s terrible and my goal is to never have any wars ever again. But I think that statement is overall pretty true.)
Here’s When Negativity Wins the War
Negativity wins when it seeps into our daily lives. When it becomes a habit. When it becomes an accepted part of our reality. There’s a problem when it becomes so accepted that we don’t even question if it exists anymore because we are so used to it. THAT is when it wins.
There are so many people out there – some of whom I’ve personally talked to! – that don’t even think that there’s a problem in the world that needs to be solved.
Those are the people who have allowed negativity to seep into their lives so much that they don’t even question if there could possibly be something wrong with it. They’ve opened their doors to negativity, gave it some damn water and grapes to say, “Welcome home,” and never looked back.
And I think in the end, that’s more toxic than any war could ever be. Because war, at least usually, comes to an end. But a society that accepts negativity completely? That can last for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Until it eventually makes the society collapse. And then…what’s left?
What We Need to Do NOW
It’s our job NOW to take off our rose-colored glasses, and put on clearer ones. We need to figure out where the negativity is seeping in, and do something about it.
It’s our job to step out of our comfort zones and try to see where we’ve accepted negativity and allowed it to damage our lives, even if it wasn’t too noticeable before.
Personally, I notice negativity every single fucking place I look.
It’s all over social media. (Read: How to Spread More Kindness on Social Media.) It’s all over politics. It’s all over religion….I mean, it’s plastered anywhere you could possibly direct your eyes. But if you’re not paying attention, your eyes don’t even notice it.
Take the U.S., for example. The country is so filled with negativity that sometimes I feel like it’s become a part of what it means to even be an American anymore.
It seems like everyone fights on social media, everyone fights in real life, and you can’t go anywhere without someone NOT accepting you for who you are.
Honestly, the country is divided up into so many pieces of political fucking pie that you can’t even find a big enough piece to take a real bite.
And it seems as though the negativity is just….a part of who we are now.
It sure as hell shouldn’t be like that.
We need to look at our own lives and really open our minds to the possibility that we have let negativity control a massive chunk of it. We need to be willing to see our own faults, and where we might have let it walk in without question.
That can be really scary, and it requires change. And most people really hate change.Most people don’t like looking at themselves to see faults or where they could have gone wrong. And I get that.
But without doing so, we can continue to suffer in silence without even noticing the negativity for what it is.
What the Future Needs From Us
The future of our world is riding on our ability to see what others may not. We have to be able to look around and think, “Wait. Is this just normalized or is this actually a good thing to do?”
It’s time that we work to untie all the things we were raised with, all the things we were taught, and all the things we’ve accepted and figure out what’s really worth keeping.
A part of growing as a human being is diving into the deeper, maybe even darker parts of who we are. Every one of us should find the time to look at ourselves and wonder, “What levels of negativity have I just accepted? How may I be playing a role IN said negativity? How can I reverse or change it entirely?”
I think that if we can all ask ourselves those questions, we’ll start to see the flip side to the subtle war we’ve been fighting for years. Negativity won’t be winning anymore. And once we see that flip side, then I think the real changes will happen in the world.
We Can’t Let Negativity Win, Yo.
I don’t know about you, but I’m done being afraid of what will happen in my lifetime in the next 10, 20, or even 70 years. I’m a firm believer that if we stay on the track we are now, the world will be a much, much scarier place that we can even imagine right now.
Changing that trajectory starts with the daily aspects of your life. It starts with asking yourself questions that allow you to expand and grow as a person. It starts with wondering what YOU can do to make the world a better place, and eliminate negativity at its root.
It’s your job to leave the world a better place than you found it. You need to work on how negativity affects your life.
And if there’s anything that we all work the hardest on, I think it should be that.
If you like this post or it resonated with you, you should check out The Kindness Notes.