Here's what I think...
Don’t be a meanie.
Last week a friend of mine and her son went down to TX to help rescue animals that were left when their humans evacuated for Hurricane Harvey. She has been working with this one man down there who I think is kind of organizing one area of the rescue. She’s shared a few photos and some of his FB videos. Last night I happened to catch one of them. He was basically trying to show the work they’d done and answer some questions that were coming up by people commenting on previous videos. Apparently in one video there were dogs in crates on the ground, but in the next video some of the crates were empty. It seemed that people were freaking out because the crates were empty and he was explaining that they were empty because volunteers were walking the dogs in those crates. Makes sense. Unfortunately, the people commenting on the live video weren’t actually paying attention to what this man was saying. And it only took one person to say that they were euthanizing the dogs, because TX didn’t like a particular breed, for it to completely take off out of control. From that point on most of the people in the comments section were attacking the guy, attacking the government, and attacking TX. All while this exhausted man tried to explain that that’s not what was happening. Basically, it was a mob mentality. I watched this for a few minutes then couldn’t stand it anymore. So….I commented.
‘You did WHAT?!’
‘Oh no you didn’t!’
‘Are you crazy?!’
Yep. I commented. I basically said something along the lines of ‘Volunteer Dude, You’re never going to please all these people, they aren’t even listening. Forget about the live feeds and just go back to helping the animals and doing what you do best!’ I ended it with a little heart emoji, sighed, put down my phone, and continued to watch football with the Hubby. Just a bit later I noticed something flash on my screen and saw it was a comment to my comment. So I clicked on it. And read some woman from who knows where calling me a ‘troll’ and a ‘schmuck,’ and to mind my own business because this man and his wife are doing great work and I should basically crawl back under the rock I came out of. And a few people LIKED what she said. Um, what? Did she not read my comment? I was stunned. I was ridiculously hurt. I couldn’t believe that someone would accuse me of being a troll when it came to anything to do with animals. So, after calmly thanking her for completely misunderstanding me and calling me a ‘schmuck’ (I am human afterall….), I put down my phone for good.
Now I’m not writing about this to get you all to come to my rescue and tell me what a good person I am. Seriously, I’m fine. But thank you for wanting to. And I know this posts seems a bit negative which isn’t usually my style, but I’m going to attempt to turn it around here. My point in all of this is to share a few of the lessons I learned.
- Don’t speak/write if you really don’t know the facts.
- Mob mentality NEVER pays off.
- Read carefully and listen carefully before you react.
- It’s not necessary to lash out just because you disagree with someone.
- It’s way too easy for people to act like fools from behind a keyboard.
And from my favorite bumper sticker…
- Mean people suck. So don’t be one.
And above all remember, you get more of what you put out there.
So what are you putting out there?