notquiteold

Nancy Roman

Lifting Up

There is a Facebook page that I follow for its kindness and optimism. I am not alone. More than 5 million people have liked this page.

There is never any criticism in its posts. There is just support, understanding, and acceptance.

For example: 

Recently, they posted this:

More than 9,000 people responded.

I read the first thirty answers. And then I stopped.

Of those thirty, only three were positive. 

“Tell the people you love that you love them.”

“Be nice to yourself.”

“You are stronger than you think.”

Twenty-seven comments – 90% – were negative. Sad, pessimistic, bitter.

“Never trust anyone.”

“Don’t expect people to come through for you.”

“People will not treat you with the kindness you show them.”

“Always expect the worst.”

“Just because they are family doesn’t mean they won’t abandon you.

“Your friends will talk behind your back.”

So I stopped after thirty.  

I don’t think these percentages would hold if read all 9,000. I think those who are unhappy or angry were just more likely to respond right away. It’s sort of like negative reviews. If you love something, you might be inclined to post a review. But if you hate something, you can’t wait to complain. Anger is a great impetus.

But reflecting on those I did read breaks my heart a little.

This Facebook page is meant to be uplifting. Its purpose is to make you feel better. I go there to calm my soul. I believe that is why all five million followers go there.

These people who wrote such unhappy life lessons went to that site to be uplifted. But they could not themselves be uplifting. I believe that what they wanted was for someone or something outside themselves to help them feel better.

Maybe writing those dark thoughts was a release in itself, and did help soothe them. Maybe they were just hoping for someone to say, “I understand.”

Certainly, this has been a difficult year. Even happy people are dealing with depression. If one’s life is already a struggle, I can only imagine how hopeless it might seem.

I want to be the person who gives them those uplifting words to help them through their dark times. I want to ease their pain. But that’s just my ego. How can I help?  

Can I loan them my dogs for a day? Or my lovely amazing mother? Can I give them a nicer past?

I can’t say “things will get better” – that’s just a platitude in the face of hurt and sorrow. And besides, I don’t know that things will get better. Not for them. Not for anyone.

All I can say is, 

I’m here.

I’m listening.

I’m trying to understand.

14 Comments

  1. It is great to know there are people like you out in the world. Small acts of kindness everyday you can, like saying hello. Or wishing someone a happy holidays or merry Christmas. Its sad that in a place of positivity you can find so much negativity. It never solves anything. Thank you for sharing.

    Like

  2. LuAnn Pepperwood

    I’m not sure how I accidentally found your blog… but I did find it and I am so glad. Every piece that I have read has been well-written and worth my time. Thank you.

    Like

  3. Barbara Lindsey

    How sad this is. It takes just as much energy to be positive as it does to be negative. However, positivity is uplifting whilst negativity is obviously not. I wonder why people don’t realise that. What you process through your mind and body affects your life immeasurably. Let’s build each other up, not down.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I am trying to be postitive but it is a struggle

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I can’t check Like when I’m thinking, that’s tough. But even now you are kind.

    Like

  6. It is sad that there is so much negativity but at least there are people who try to be positive and uplifting. I think saying “I’m here” and “I’m listening ” are the best things you can say.

    Like

  7. LA

    Maybe to be happy you need to remember how easy it is not to be

    Like

  8. A sort-of family member, with whom I am not close and with whom I don’t necessarily share views (political and religious) asked me recently how my husband is (he has Parkinson’s). I replied with a summary of his downward path, knowing it will only get worse, but that he’s still fairly functional. I was kind of shocked with her response, glad he’s “hanging in there.” I guess she just focused on the positive when I wanted to sympathy. I’m still processing that.

    Like

  9. That’s all we can do, be there with a shoulder, a hand to hold, a hug, a tissue, a listening ear. We don’t even have to say anything. Sometimes our presence is enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. dragon

    I know I cannot foretell the future, but I tend to phrase it “Things cannot help but get better.” Which basically tells me that while the universe isn’t interested in the individual, or even in the species, I can do what I can to not be part of the problem. I hope.

    @Wigginswordsandimages: Sometimes the only way we can process something so difficult, something we have not experienced, and cannot hope to understand what it’s doing to the people experiencing it, is cheer on the courage and determination it takes an entire family to deal with something like Parkinson’s. We celebrate those who persevere in the face of insurmountable odds because we don’t know what else to say or do. We know it is devastating and will be painful long past the end of the person’s existence. Yet the bright spark that is the person and is their support is also important. {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{hugs}}}}}}}}}}}}}

    Like

  11. I think your response is absolutely on target. We can’t fix things for others, but we can offer a sympathetic ear and a helping hand, and sometimes that is all they really need.

    Like

  12. There is just to much negativity in the world these days, people seem to get caught up in it and can’t get out. Whenever I feel “the blahs” (or any kind of anger, frustration, etc.) setting it, I try to tell myself, “It’s okay to feel like this. It will pass.” And it always does. Unfortunately, too many people can’t seem to get past their problems.

    Like

  13. Nancy, I always find something uplifting in your posts. And lets face it, Theo is pretty much a star when it comes to being uplifting on twitter. It’s hard to always be the person who is happy, inspiring and uplifting. I am sure you have your moments but choose for those moments to not represent who you are. There is always a choice. Two people who have the same things happen to them and are raised the same way…one will dwell on all the bad stuff that happened to them and how awful things are…the other will project all the positive things in their life and find strength in their survival. It is usually a choice.

    Like

  14. Donna Walsh

    “And in despair I bowed my head. There is no peace on earth I said. For hate is strong, and mocks the song of peace on earth, goodwill to men. Then rang the bells more loud and deep, God is not dead, nor does He sleep. The wrong shall fail; the right prevail, with peace on earth, goodwill to men.” Merry Christmas one and all …

    Like

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