I’m a lover, not a fighter
My state has a great state motto, “Virginia is for Lovers”. I enjoy seeing all the LOVE signs in the various towns and cities in the state. You might say, I love LOVE.
On every list prepared by all happiness experts, there is a common characteristic for happy people. We are lovers.
We love other people, even if that person might be a challenge.
We love ourselves, not in a hedonistic way, but in an accepting “we’re not perfect” way. We show this love by being quick to forgive others and ourselves.
We love life, and don’t let momentary setbacks distract us from that love.
And we Love to be happy. Love increases happiness, happiness increase love. It’s a wonderful cycle.
In my upcoming book, Climbing Mt. Happiness, I state that to be truly happy, you cannot hate more than 2 -4 people in your life.
Many people might say “Oh, I don’t hate anyone”.
A major cause of hatred
I believe our thoughts, actions, and words, might show otherwise, and I think the major cause of this movement toward hatred is social media.
In our actual live, we tend to seek like-minded people, and it’s easy to be in agreement with each other. But in our virtual life of social media, unless it’s a closed community, people of many different opinions are brought together into one arena. (I think arena is the perfect word here.)
In the past the belief was, “if you get to know me, you’ll like me,” but Nicholas Carr describes in his book The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains, that social media has created a new phenomenon known as “dissimilarity cascade.” Instead of trying to find commonality, we are searching for differences, and this search has divided society. https://tech.slashdot.org/story/17/04/23/2238211/is-social-media-making-us-hate-each-other
I have observed that people who would never purposely offend someone face to face, has no problem doing it on social media. And at times, it may not even be meant to be offensive. Without the benefit of vocal tone, gestures, and body language, very often messages are misinterpreted. Emojis can only go so far.
If you don’t believe me, go to the most popular social media website. Go through perhaps 50 posts, and count how many are negative, or downright mean spirited.
So I urge you to eliminate the negative, the hate, in your life. If you must use social media, don’t consider yourself more intelligent or more insightful than others. Before passing on a post, check to see if it’s true. If it’s outrageous, it’s probably a hoax. There is no place in the world to find more Fake-News, than on social media. Recognize that what we think or read, affects our emotions, which affects our happiness. Accept that we, our lives, and our environment, do not have to be perfect, for us to be happy.
What better time to increase your love than at Valentines? Spend it by sharing love, instead of hatred.
My advice to you
I leave you with the following words from Paul, taken from the third chapter of Colossians. If we all could live by these words, I guarantee our community, our nation, our world, and even our social media, would be a happier place.
Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all. Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the LORD forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
I hope to hear from you
I hope you’ll visit me at www.BringingHopeAndHappiness.com As always, I’d love to hear from you and feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org