Should We Be The Ones Correcting Each Other?
We're all so clever these days. We're so good at policing the thoughts and feelings of everyone we see. We call it snark, or "calling someone on their sh*t", but at the core of it all is this sick desire to correct those we disagree with. And I'm one of the worst offenders.
Today I read a blog I disagreed 100% with. I like the blogger but hated the way this person was dealing with something. So I started writing a rebuttal. It was going to be kind, gentle, and compassionate, but in reality I just really wanted to "correct" her. I got halfway through and stopped. I suddenly remembered a few rules my Mother gave me in regards to writing...and well, life.
"First, you have to ask yourself: 'Does this need to be said?' Then you have to ask yourself: 'Does this need to be said by ME?' And finally, if both those answers are 'yes', you need to take a long, hard look at the situation and ask yourself: 'Does this need to be said by me right NOW?' If any of those answers are 'no', or 'maybe not', even if it's just a matter of timing, don't do it. Sometimes we think our input is needed. But 9 times out of 10 we're actually just making things worse."
How's that for some wisdom? So today in the midst of my "loving" rebuttal, I stopped, deleted it, and went on about my business. Because it may have needed to be said, but ya know, it didn't really need to be said by me. Or right then. I could have potentially hurt a fellow blogger and friend. I assumed I knew why she wrote what she did but the fact is, I really don't. I don't know the whole story, or her background, or her issues, or her traumatic life experiences. I really have no idea what led her to say the things she did. In the moment, when that delicious red veil of "correct, correct, correct" fell across my face I didn't see all that. But, taking a moment away and not writing that blog may have saved our friendship, and might not have made her day worse than it already has been.
We can't always tell why someone does and says the things they say. Blogs and tweets can often be misconstrued or misunderstood, because we don't always know the real backstory of the person writing them. And yeah, maybe you do disagree with something they said, and maybe for very good reasons. But ask yourself this...did it need to be said? Did it need to be said by you? And lastly...did it need to be said by you, right now?