I’ve been having an interesting experience these past couple of weeks as the target of a few people on social media whose views differ from my own.
I genuinely like people and find everyone to be unique – we all have a different story, a different experience which dictates how we see things from our own individual perspective. However, how people deal with their perspectives covers a whole spectrum of emotions.
There are people who are tolerant, who respect other opinions, even if they don’t hold the same beliefs. They have a “live and let live” attitude which allows for peaceful exchanges! These people often have an open mind and are willing to listen to other viewpoints and then decide whether they resonate or not.
There are also people who have tried different things but found they didn’t work for them, and then take it on as their responsibility to protect others from perceived harm. They are fiercely protective but often fail to realise that they are denying other people the freedom of choice. They are seeing the situation from their own perspective and assuming that their experience is the only one. They fail to realise that their experience was theirs and theirs alone and that another person might blossom in a similar situation.
Similar to the protective people mentioned in the previous paragraph are those that haven’t tried different things but have learned from other people’s experiences and beliefs. They can fall into quite aggressive exchanges because belief systems are often seen to define who they are as a person. To change their ideas is a frightening and unacceptable thought, so they will deny all evidence to the contrary and live their lives on a single track – they are right and everyone who doesn’t share their ideas is wrong – end of story!
I have been very fortunate in my years on social media to have met some wonderful people with widely differing viewpoints from whom I have learned a lot. The personal attacks have been few and far between, thankfully. It is indeed unpleasant having total strangers making judgements on who you are and what you are, while at the same time refusing to acknowledge any evidence presented to the contrary. It has given me an additional understanding of what many people have to experience on a day to day basis – a large number of them are only trying to help people awaken to what is going on around them.
When I told a friend of mine what was happening, his response was – ‘You are being seen, well done!’ Which is true to a large extent. What I am doing is my passion and life purpose and I won’t stop – it’s a price I am willing to pay for raising my head above the parapet.
However, it got me to thinking about the many businesses that fail within the first few years. It also made me very aware that people who want to run their own businesses really need to find an occupation they are passionate about – that is the only thing that will make dealing with internet bullies tolerable. I wonder how many businesses failed because of this form of harassment. How many business owners decided that living small was preferable.
I remember one of the marketing experts I follow saying words to the effect that if everybody likes you then you haven’t clearly defined your business. It’s when people either love you or hate you that you know that you are on track. So, I guess from the events of the past few weeks, I am definitely on track!
I also saw a post on Facebook which said something like, if you spend 10 minutes interacting with someone with negative energy, you have wasted 8 minutes of your time. Though this sounds quite harsh, I think there is a lot of truth in it. You are allowing someone to spend time in your head when it’s clear that they have already made a judgement about you and won’t be changing that any time soon. There are so many other positive things that you could be doing with that time.
From a spiritual perspective, in these obviously very troubled times, I believe that it is crucial to stick to the higher ground. There are huge divisions happening all around the world and it can be easy to be sucked into the negativity and fear, when it is even more important to keep focused on love and the loving people in the world who are making a massive positive difference in people’s lives.
In conclusion, I have learned a lot from my current experiences and accept the fact that, for whatever reason, there are those who will never like me or what I do, and that’s okay. The important thing is to concentrate on the people that do like us and what we do, nurture those relationships and together we will be able to make a big difference in this world.