Monday, August 24, 2015

Rising (or not rising) to the Occasion

When I was a child, the smallest slight could send me into a fit. I'd get angry. I'd lash out. I'd end up saying or do things I regretted. This was a trend that lasted well into my early twenties. Maybe it was a combination of upbringing or a pre-disposed personality. Whatever the case, I was pretty hot-headed.

As I've matured, I've come to realize that there's really no sense in lashing out. Well, not all of the time anyway. I stand up for what I believe in. I am a firm believer in picking my battles carefully.

Just recently, I encountered someone on social media who threw an obvious barb in my direction. It wasn't anything personal, but upon first seeing it, I bristled. Who was this person? Where did they get off saying that to me? My fingers were poised, ready to type a harsh response...

...but then I stopped.

No. I'm not doing that. I won't let that person get a rise out of me. No way, no how. 

So I ignored it. And the disparaging comments stopped.

I've noticed how many people, particularly on social media like Facebook and Twitter, are so quick to come back with their insults and barbs. It's not a smart thing to do. When you put out something like that, it always has the potential to come back on you. It's dangerous and could harm your reputation.

I prefer to be careful.

I'm reminded of a few tales I heard, where authors have lashed out at their readers because of comments made regarding their work--and some of these authors never recovered their reputations. Is it worth it to debase someone and yourself just to attempt to prove a point?

If it's an issue I know I need to stand up for, if it's something I feel strongly about--yes, I will say something. But the little things? The small tidbits of drama that no one will remember in a week or two? No.

Won't get a rise out of me.

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