Hostile Comment Sections & Why They Make Me Sad

Long time, no see, folks! Here’s the sitch:

I read an article today on USMagazine.com saying that Scooter Braun and Yael Cohen welcomed a new baby boy into the world. I wanted to know more, so I read to find out more details. I made the mistake (which I often do) of reading the comment section. I tried posting a reply twice, but it was instantly deleted. Thinking it might’ve been the person to whom I was replying, I posted it as a general comment. That, too, was deleted.

I’m a bit taken aback, to be honest. What really is free speech if not the freedom to express a new perspective to an issue? Yikes. So, I’m going to post it here. Not simply to be snarky, like, “Well I’ll just post it here, then.” Rather, I want to open this up. If anyone reads this post, I truly want to know your thoughts. Not on Scooter, Yael, or Justin, though you’re welcome to engage in that discussion as well.

I want to know what you think about the deeper point I’m trying to get at. Have a look-see, then let me know in the comments:

“This comment was removed, likely by the person to which I was replying, but I hope to post it here as more of a group topic, anyway. It’s not an attack on anyone, but rather an attack on how easily we stereotype and categorize. I don’t know if anyone will read it, or if it will even matter, but I think truth is important, regardless.

People say Braun is a “dbag” or attack him because of Justin. When, actually, Braun has been heavily involved with what he calls “giving back” to communities. He works very hard to support various charities, especially that of his younger brother, Adam’s, which has built over 250 schools in places with little to no education. He is dedicated to creating a better world and pursuing dreams; he has mentioned he’s had a tough time helping Justin maneuver through his teenage years, but all-in-all, hopes to see him through as a good young man in the end of things. I would hardly call him a dbag. He’s done more for this world than any single person I know personally, whether by encouraging young people to follow their dreams, giving moms and kids free tickets to shows, or helping third-world communities cultivate a voice and self-empowerment via education. If you want to know more, you can go to PencilsofPromise.org to see the charity with which he’s most involved. He really is a great, great man who, I believe, is making history in a good way (which is hard to come by nowadays!).
I wish people could either be excited for this couple as they welcome a new life into the world, or simply not say anything. This is supposed to be a joyful time for two people, just as it should be for you or for me if either of us were welcoming a new life. It deeply saddens me to read the negative, hostile, and cruel comments (which would probably tear us apart if they were about us). I know, I just shouldn’t read them, then. I guess I simply want to check in once in a while to see where we are as an internet community; I usually hope to see improvement. I’m sad I didn’t find much of it here. Hopefully one day we’ll progress to a place in which we look down upon such negativity, even though it will still exist. Anyway, that’s just an opinion of a larger issue triggered from a small article, but I hope to see a day in which more internet pages exude integrity and even encouragement. We need more HONYs around here :)”
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#MotivationMonday: Shameless Plug

Well hello! : ) Happy #MotivationMonday!

Today I would like to post something that I recently wrote for another blog this past weekend. One of my best friends has this crazy beautiful blog that does a Theme Week every month. This month’s theme was “Wander.” With my constant talk of wanting to break free and wanting to live on purpose, you can only imagine how appealing this was to me. So, if you would just click on this here link and head on over to The Duck and The Owl blog, you will find all I have to say about wandering : )

Here’s a little sneak peak:

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She thought Beanie Babies were going to save her life.

Swathed in a way-too-warm Christmas sweater, shoes tied via Bunny Ear Technique, equipped with a plastic bag slowly tearing from a surplus of Beanie Babies, Molly, circa 1996, had her eyes fixed on the front door. As she skated across the blue living room carpet and twisted the cold metal of the door handle, she turned her chin over her shoulder toward her family, sitting quietly in the living room.

“I’m running away,” she said with a tinge of poisonous adventure.

Before any words could fall out of the mouths of two veritably boiling and bewildered parents, Molly threw the doorm01

open and sailed across the threshold of home – the threshold of possibility – and into a wide-open world.

But seriously, you should go. —> http://theduckandtheowl.wordpress.com/2013/11/17/symbolic-fences-and-a-compass-heart/comment-page-1/#comment-1552

#MotivationMonday: Abraham Maslow & Andrea Gibson!

Well hi : )

So, here’s the dealio. Tomorrow I have an installment of my project due that is going to end up being about 100 pages long. Being my not-sure-how-to-prioritize-my-life self, I have only 20 pages done… haha, oops : ) If that doesn’t say “senior in college,” I don’t know what does. Therefore, this #MotivationMonday post is going to have to be nuggetish. You can figure out what that means because I don’t know.

Much like last week, I’d like to share with you a quote that is often in the back, front, and middle of my mind. It goes like this:

“What a man can be, he must be.” –Abraham Maslow

Short and sweet. But the meaning is all of everything squeezed into a sentence. If we have the capacity and the means to be something, we must fight, grow, and learn until we ARE that something. Because if you’re not, who else will? My quiet thoughts ignite into screaming ideas when I think about that. It’s my responsibility to do something, whatever that something is, because I could do it. Personally, I want to write, inspire, and I want to help those who are homeless. That’s my mission, and if I don’t do it, I forfeit it to someone else who might not ever show up. If we all think “Oh, it’s alright, someone else will,” then nothing will ever change. Nothing will ever move.  Where would we be if Martin Luther King, Jr. decided he didn’t want to do something because someone else inevitably would?

Many times when that quote pops into my head, I think of something I once heard Andrea Gibson say at one of her shows. **Sidenote, Andrea Gibson is a wonderful, wonderful poet. You should really check out her stuff. She’s incredible with words. I write poetry, too, as you know, and her material ALWAYS inspires me to choose fresh words and images. You can find her Twitter here and her beautiful website here : )**

I sat in a plastic chair in an open room with high ceilings and next to no lighting, save for the spotlight on Andrea, absorbed in what she had just told us. What she had just told me. She said, in her renowned valorous way, that those with a voice need to speak for those who do not have a voice. I thought about that for a long time.

This is how I see it: if an oppressed person stands up, it is heart-catching; if a person who has no affiliation with that opressed person stands up, it’s heart-catching too, but also full of a different kind of power. It demonstrates a need for external eyes and hands– a need for change. When people not directly involved with an issue begin to see its dangers, it’s unquestionable that the issue is quite serious. Relatedly, those who are not in a vulnerable position need to stand up for those in vulnerable positions. It seems so backwards that a person who is already unsafe must sacrifice their safety to initiate any kind of change. They need someone who is in a safe spot to reach out and speak out for them.

If you can, you must.

If you can be something, go be it. Whether that means speaking up for someone or trying to make it into the NBA.  Why spend your life wondering what you could’ve accomplished? Why spend your life dreaming of the smiles that you could’ve given to people? The world needs YOU. It needs your thoughts, your opinions, your words, your actions. It needs your love. Your strength. Your spirit. Your message. This very day thirsts for your dreams, because it can’t survive without them. Tomorrow can’t advance, improve, shine without them.

The world is waiting for you. If you can be something, be it. You must.

Who else will?

#MotivationMonday: The Giving Keys!

Friends! Happy #MotivationMonday! ♥

Today I’m going to share with you another organization I hold closely to my heart.

As you’ve probably read about several times in my posts (or, if you’re new, WELCOME, GOOD PEOPLE! 🙂 ), my passion lies in helping those who are in need–particularly people who are homeless. Some of the most interesting and lively people I’ve met have been homeless. Truly, my biggest calling in life is to help lift up those who need a hand. I long to learn from them– to have them teach me more about the human heart. I hope they tug at your own heartstrings from time to time, too. After all, if we’re not here for others, what are we here for?

I had a riveting conversation last night– the kind where thick words fill your thoughts and flood out of your mouth in torrents– about helping people who are homeless. We spoke so delicately of the humans inside what most perceive to be a hopeless shell of person. We spoke so vociferously about how they need more than people’s money and clothes (though, those are surely needed, too); they need belief.

These people need belief in themselves. So many I’ve talked to mentioned the estrangement they’ve experienced from families, living each and every day of their lives on the streets, failing at everything they try. They need to believe that they can turn their lives around. But who is going to give them that opportunity?

I feel that it’s my responsiblity to believe in these people, to lift them up, and to show them that life is beautiful when we harness the  creative and compassionate energies of other people.

The creative energy between even just two people is astounding; I find it both heartbreaking and startling that so many are blind to the power of collaboration. The things we can do alone are incredible. The things we can do together are boundless and inexhaustible. Just put two people together in one room who are on fire about the same thing  and see what happens. I truly believe if I, or any single person, could collaborate with people who shared the seemingly lofty dream of getting every single person off the streets, it would be possible.

I don’t think that’s unrealistic. I don’t think that’s impossible. I think it’s something that the general public isn’t very concerned with; thus, it isn’t a problem that is frequently approached with enthusiasm or any kind of solution.

Except for one majestic organization.

Without further ado, I introduce the organization that embodies everything I’ve mentioned thus far: powerful collaboration, creative energy, belief in people, high expectations, and the opportunity for people to succeed–

THE GIVING KEYS!

I LOVE THESE PEOPLE AND THIS ORGANIZATION. I love what they do. You need to look at their gorgeous website. Follow them on Twitter. On Facebook.They employ people who are homeless to transition them out of homelessness. AKA: they BELIEVE in these people. They give them a second chance. I can’t imagine anything more beautiful than that. What a breathtaking concept. I’ve had my giving key for a while now,  and it’s hard to think of myself with out it; but that’s the catch– you have to give it away at some point (hence “giving” key). You give it to someone that you think needs the message on the key. Talk about spreading inspiration, motivation, and positivity! I would love to get involved with these courageous philanthropists.

SO. Look at how cute their jewelry is! It’s for guys, too, actually. You get them custom-made and there are a billion options. And, it’s for a wonderful, marvelous, magnificent cause.

People always ask me about my key. At least once a week. And it’s my favorite motivation to share.

This one is mine 🙂 Not very good quality in the picture, but you get the point.

photo

BELIEVE IN PEOPLE. Be CREATIVE in solving the problems you want to solve in the world. Most of all, keep the attitude that you can change lives in the forefront of your thoughts. You can.