It seems like all over social media there are these deep and meaningful quotes. And, yeah, okay there are some dumb quotes, too. Sometimes these quotes pop up at just the right time, though, like the fortune cookies of the internet. It’s cool when that happens.
That’s a good one, right? I think so. (I can’t find an author for it, sorry.) This quote reminds me that we can all make positive changes. It’s never too late to be better than we were yesterday, as long as we are willing to question our own knee-jerk reactions. Defensiveness is an understandable response to criticism, but it doesn’t move you forward. I think it is extremely important to be self-critical. It’s the only way to grow, to evolve.
Once, more than a few years ago, I heard/read the statement that ALL white people are racist, in some manner. At first it bothered me because, well, obviously I didn’t think I was a racist! But the more I thought about it the more I realized it was true. It’s impossible to grow up white, and live with that kind of privilege in this society, without having it influence you. At minimum, white people all benefit from institutionalized racism enough to warrant some self-criticism. Accepting this, and also accepting that it doesn’t mean I am a bad person or that I have done anything wrong, was a really big thing for me. It changed me, in a major way. It made me realize racism is not about just “bad people,” it’s also an entire system of power. If I had stuck with my original reaction and rejected the whole idea, I would not have grown or changed.
Self-reflection is important. Sometimes I get too self-critical, and move right on over to self-deprecating, and even into self-hate. I know this is a problem for me and I am trying to stop doing that and be kinder to myself, but that is another issue altogether!
How about this one:
This quote reminded me that we are all victims, in one way or another. Almost all of us have been hurt, or used, or mistreated in some way. But we have to let go of that anger a little bit otherwise we risk becoming the same as those who have hurt us. We need to remember that even at our weakest, we are still capable of hurting others. If we get too absorbed in our own status as “victim” we can easily excuse our own bad behavior, and that isn’t okay. Everyone is fighting their own demons, recovering from their own traumas. We need to have empathy for each other.
I try to have empathy for everyone, to understand different views, to listen. I really care about the people I interact with online. Sometimes I find myself thinking of them, and I feel weird about that. There used to be this guy who went by the name ‘Dorian’ who I was friends with on Facebook. An author, and a very nice man, he loved to post pictures of male ballet dancers. So whenever I’d see a picture of a male dancer that was particularly nice I’d think “I should share this with Dorian next time I’m online” and I usually did. Dorian died last year, but I still think of him when I see a picture of a male dancer.
Is that unusual? I feel like that about a lot of people, but I often hide it. Or sometimes, something will happen to show me that the feelings I had were most definitely one-sided, and not at all reciprocated by the other person. I’m fairly certain Dorian never thought of me, or even knew my name. Should that change my feelings, though? Does that even matter? I don’t know.
On that note…
This is another quote that has spoken to me. I’ve seen it around a lot, I’ve posted it before, but it is important for me to continue to see it and to remember. Keeping emotional distance is another thing I need to work on, online.
It’s easy to get sucked in to an external validation loop on social media: posting things and hoping for responses. Sometimes that is great, in small amounts. But too much is not healthy. Definitely a bad idea to use external sources to determine one’s sense of self-worth!
The other reason that quote is so important for me is that it reminds me there ARE people who care, and those are the people I should be giving my attention to, those are the ones I need to try hard for.
Ah, a very good quote for when I am thinking of giving up!
It is hard to know when to give up. When to walk away from a person or a discussion or a project. When to accept things as they are and when to try to change them? I guess that is one of those eternal questions no one ever knows the answer to. Or maybe it is too specific to be answered by a vague internet quote. 🙂
How about you? Any “quotes” speak to you lately? I’d love to hear about it!