So here's a little local tidbit worthy of discussion: Earlier this week a local breakfast eatery asked a mother and her child to leave their establishment after the mother had paid the bill. The child had allegedly been "singing"--and I have no idea if there was a complaint from other patrons or what--but after the incident, an employee from the restaurant posted on Facebook, "I'm not sure why it's surprising that if you or your child are doing things that are disturbing other guests that you will be asked to leave."
Wow. That's takes some cojones, Amigos.
But I digress, because it isn't the child "singing" or the parents, or even the utter stupidity of the eatery who called out a paying customer on Facebook that I want to discuss today. Ironically, it's the 450+ comments and opinions on the original post that call for some reflection. (I realize that most of you who read this do not live in this small town, but I'm sure you've seen similar posts in your neck of the woods so relevance still applies, right?)
When I was in Junior High, I totally rocked the over-sized-off-the-shoulder-peg-leg-jean-big-hair-look. I mean it. I was a freakin' Guess jean model. It didn't get hotter than me. I looked like Tina Yothers from the show, Family Ties, and honey, that's babe-licious.
I also thought that the word "babe-licious" was totally rad--and that the word "rad" was rad. The reality was, is what I really needed was someone with some ACTUAL style to save me from myself because honey, I looked like Tina Yothers from Family Ties but with bigger hair. My whole look said, "Save me from myself!! I almost asphyxiated on Aqua Net this morning! I'm responsible for the hole in the ozone!! Help!!"
Unfortunately, no one stepped in as we were all awash in acid wash jeans.
(Now go Google Tina Yothers, then come right back.)
Now, how does me looking like a Greek Tina Yothers relate to those 450+ comments?
Let me be the self appointed style expert here.
Here's a little tidbit of advice I was taught as a child, "If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all."...or, if you need to say it, then say it with some humor because people can usually laugh their way through backhanded insults.
If you really, really want to comment, that's great, I'm all about freedom of speech that allows me to openly mock others through veiled humor--but let's establish some rules so you don't look quite so stupid:
1. Execute proper word usage. The word, "there" refers to a place. "Their" refers to someone's possession. "I'm not gonna take my kids their!!!" is not correct and now you look ignorant--which is another word for stupid, just in case you didn't know.
2. While commenting, don't abbreviate. You are not texting. The word "be" has only two letters, (not "too" by the way, so) deny your laziness, be a chum and spell the whole word out.
You'll b glad you did.
3. Be diplomatic. I understand that you are upset, angry, and afraid. However, you are not being kicked out of the restaurant at this instant. If you were, you'd be on Twitter, not on Facebook and your name would be Alec Baldwin. Take a breath, remember that you are in a safe place and that most problems can be solved by being calm, even if you have a flaming pitchfork in hand.
4. Don't set your pitchfork on fire. That's just good advice all around. If you can't spell "be" then I think this bears reminding because setting your pitchfork on fire will probably cause death. If you can't spell the word "be" then you also may not be able to remember that your pitchfork is on fire, and setting a flaming pitchfork down will only result in lighting your house on fire...which, I guess, would stop you from commenting on Facebook, so that's a plus...never mind, light away.
5. Listen to my friend, Sherilee over at Sweet Tea and Sunshine who said, "The ability to articulate an argument gets quite hampered by spelling and usage issues." Take a page from this wise woman, people. Read a book, learn to spell, your comments will then get the proper respect they deserve.
6. Remember the Alamo. No, I don't mean get your knives, guns and cannons out from under the camping stuff in the garage in order to defend your point of view. What I mean is, people worldwide remember the Alamo as a heroic struggle against impossible odds--a place where men made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. True freedom is finding peace amid any viewed injustice and true grace is choosing to be kind instead of right.
Choose to be kind.
So, if you choose to rant, rant on friends. I applaud you--ranting has brought about great changes in the world like freedom from dictators, civil rights to minorities, ousting of dirty CEO's and (hopefully! *fingers crossed*) the continued service of 16 oz. sodas in New York City--because that, friends, is a life changing issue.
However, if you choose to rant, do it wisely, because just as we look back at photos of ourselves in high school and think, "Wow, why didn't someone tell me that I looked so ridiculous in those M.C. Hammer pants?" you may look back on your ranting and think, "Well, that was just really unkind."...or maybe you won't.
Either way, you totally are NOT rockin' those Hammer pants, so be kind now.
Have you ever commented unkindly?