Water Your Own Garden is our way of encouraging you to enjoy moments of reflection, admiration and learning, and to then focus on your own garden…your life.”

Keys of Comp-passion

August 18 2015

“Never look down on anybody unless you’re helping him up” – Jesse Jackson

Whenever I read this quote, I conjure up this great image of a person helping another up, arm outreached, face of kindness. This person is looking at the other person kneeling down on the ground, whose shoulders are hung with a forlorn look upon their face.  The last image in this scenario in my mind is of two people standing together with a look of mutual respect, ready to face whatever challenges lay ahead.

However today, with more of us walking around with faces buried in technology, or sitting at home, making our social connections and even purchasing activities on line, I ask you to consider this quote in a less tangible scenario.

Sitting behind your computer screen in the comfort of your own home, or responding to a post on FB during your lunch break, I ask that as you thumb the quick spew of raw, unfiltered words that make up your response, you challenge yourself to lift people up with what your write, not pass judgement or tear someone down.

I’m not a bleeding heart.  I love a healthy debate.  I love to hear the opinion of others on important topics.  Forming and having an opinion on a range of topics makes for great conversations and provides a platform from which people connect.  But remember that opinions are a set of views or judgements formed about something, not necessarily based on fact or knowledge.

We need strong opinion to instigate change.  Strong opinion can show others you care and combined with great ideas, opinions can be very powerful and worthwhile.

But we must be mindful of when and how our opinions are delivered.  Are you simply making a point for arguments sake?  Are you being antagonistic for your own pleasure?  Have you considered your audience, or potential audience, and how your opinion affects them?

Today, a troll is no longer a cute doll with crazy hair that we had growing up as key rings or little dolls - if you were lucky enough!  A warrior is no longer a courageous soldier who goes into battle fearless, strong and brave.  A keyboard warrior, or troll, is an agent of chaos on the internet, exploiting users’ vulnerabilities, sitting in judgement, offering not a hand up, but a put down.

Reading my thoughts isn’t going to change the way these people behave.  They are who they are.

Instead, what I’m asking is that everyday Australians, like you and I, become Keyboard Champions.  Consider your audience next time you post.  Can you frame your thoughts in a way that support others?  As Keyboard Champions we can set an example for others and combat their aggression with our compassion.

Having been close to a number of ‘newsworthy events’ over time, I have come to understand that what is shared in the media, can often be delivered as a carefully crafted story to capture listeners attention and shock and wow.  Unfortunately, what is often at the heart of the story, is a little less ‘impressive’ and a little more ‘everyday’.  With so much opportunity to share our thoughts about newsworthy events it’s important to share them with integrity and compassion.

Make sure that next time you’re looking down on someone, with fingers poised over your keyboard, it iss to encourage them to do better, to be better and to help them up.

And when in doubt…use the delete button…that’s what it’s there for.

Lisa Glassborow

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