I have a day to get on with today however this is so much on my heart that it can not wait any longer. Part of this is being mindful of my own words, actions and feelings and working towards being mindful of how my words and actions build up or tear down.
Over the last few years, as a direct result of a number of situations in the quilt world I’ve become much more mindful of what I say, particularly at quilt shows. We all have our likes and dislikes. That’s to be expected. Expressing our dislikes in a way that is respectful is hugely important. My words though. Oh how I have changed what I say at quilt shows.
Mmmmm, no, this is broader. I am working on changing what I say, period. That also means I am going to have to work hard on changing how I care what people say about me. I can only control what I do and say rather than what others think and feel about me.
Shortly after starting writing I had a conversation with a dear friend. At the end of the conversation I had a realization, that goes all the way back to the elementary school playground. It makes me sick thinking about it.
Picture it 5th or 6th grade, kids from the whole varied social structure in this small town. A misunderstanding happens One girl, Pickles, is offended by something another girl, Daisy, says. Names have been changed because I’m old and don’t remember them both. Pickles tells all of her friends what Daisy said, they are as indignant as she. And shouldn’t they be? I mean after all Pickles is their best friend and the most popular girl in school. The group mocking and harassing of Daisy starts. It went on through the whole of our time on the playground. Daisy just wanted to be left alone, needed to be left alone. Pickles and Daisy needed to have the space to work things out. They didn’t have that time, at least not at that moment. I don’t know if they ever did.
Fast forward – I see bullying all over the place. Even in the quilting world and where the quilting and sewing world come together. Because they do. The difference is now, we’re all adults and should know better. Should.know.better. The problem is that we bring our experience as children and teenagers to adulthood. Well that’s not so much of a problem as a reality, it’s part of who we are. We are: the one who bullies because we are accustomed to belittling people; the ones who are bullied because we’re accustomed to being over run by others; or we now bully because we’re tired of being treated like crap and don’t want to take it any more; or we do our best to treat people fairly. More likely some amalgamation.
As Adults we’re often a bit sneakier, a bit savvier, a bit more selfish. We also have blogs and radio shows, magazines, newspapers and books, television shows the list goes on. Please do NOT get me started on Social Media. I have wanted to respond to something that has happened on more than one occasion but have refrained for various reasons including and most importantly out of respect for the people involved. We KNOW that social media can take on a life of its own in a way that can not be controlled. It’s like gossip it spreads like wild-fire and changes from person to person. Wait it IS Gossip or detraction or calumny.
As I read through something this morning I was reminded of this verse. The backbiting, bullying, sniping, b*tching, show us how little we actually love. I mean that deep down, sacrificial kind of love. Where we stop and think about what we say. Where we give people the benefit of the doubt, where we extend a hand in tough situations, where we offer people the opportunity to explain what’s going on before we jump to negative conclusions or try to force them to come to our way of thinking, where we keep our opinions of others to ourselves rather than sharing them with everyone else.
Where we….and by we I first mean me, love one another.
Let us love one another,