It is curious how much power words can carry in situations where nothing is actually happening in…
Megan Brooks

THINK! is a story I wrote a month ago that suggests one positive thing we can do about this tendency. In passing, I am not happy with the fact that the first line of one on one chat/comments is headlined as a new story. What I am going to do about it is use the first line in a different way. Now to you and your reply.

The power of the human mind is extensive, it can take us to heights of achievement we didn’t know we could attain. It can also bring us so low in self-esteem as to make our existence seem pointless. The point in your story is well-taken. I have had several episodes of my life culminate in unexpected success. On one occasion, a voice in my head was saying, “You’ll never get this!”, but persevered and I did more than just get it, I was at the top of that field. That was 43 years ago, but I still recall that feeling, and defeating it to a positive end, through hard work.

Concretely, I have taken to avoiding and ignoring uncivil and mean behavior online. I only lament it for those who live it. Unless this is a game for them, they must be tortured souls. If it is a game, they probably still are suffering. I’ve also had to call myself on some things I have said or done to people in my own online career, decades ago. I really do try to keep unconstructive negativity not only private and unexpressed, but also I try to imagine why people say things in public online they wouldn’t say in person. “Because the Internet is bloodless”, a friend once reasoned. True, the “attacker” doesn’t bleed, but the target of what may seem like harmless belligerence may not be able to swat away such negative thoughts, perhaps tossed out at a particularly hard moment in their lives.

Life isn’t all roses and heady perfume, shit happens, etc., but we could all do our part to not amplify some of the ideas I see day after day.

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