If You Can’t Say Something Nice…

One Evening

I think I’m gonna quit blogging, at least on the overheated political/social topics of the day.  I was scrolling through my newsfeed and came across a few people from high school who I didn’t even know were on Facebook and I thought if they look me up and wonder whether or not to friend me what impression will they get from my timeline?

It wasn’t a happy thought.

The world is loaded with outrage, much of it justified.  I don’t apologize for any of my convictions or the passion with which they are expressed but convictions about issues are mere fractions of what makes us what we are.  Social media is uniquely configured to feature bits and pieces; a few lines of text, maybe an oh so clever meme and viola!  There’s the face seen by the world.  The face you have chosen to present.

I want a nicer face.

One of my favorite quotes to live by comes from the movie Harvey in which Jimmy Stewart explains his approach to life like this:

Years ago my mother used to say to me, she’d say, “In this world, Elwood, you must be,” – she always called me Elwood – “In this world, you must be oh so smart, or oh so pleasant.” Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me.

There are a lot of smart people in the world.  There are way more people who like to think they’re smart.  One of the things blogging has taught me is that being smart (or thinking I’m smart- you be the judge) doesn’t fix anything.  And it easily becomes the plank in the eye that neutralizes our credibility as we presume to remove specks from the eyes of others.  So I’m giving it a rest.

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4 Responses to If You Can’t Say Something Nice…

  1. Lots of wisdom there, but you mustn’t stop blogging or at least writing. Too many of us enjoy your words!

    It’s kind of interesting, my natural state is to be somewhat pleasant, I prefer to keep the peace and smile, at least superficially. Ironically it’s my husband who has taught me that being nice is not always the best course of action. Except when dealing with him of course. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • lang3063 says:

      Thank you for the kind words IB. My natural state is likewise benign and non-confrontational but you would never guess that from my “online presentation.” It takes something as serious as abortion or the perversion of God’s excellent design for marriage to get me to let fly. Nothing wrong with that but social media is designed to reduce us to one dimension. It’s the perfect medium for indulging the inner smart-ass. (See? I never use that kind of language in real life.) I just picture nice people from my past stumbling upon my posts or FB statuses saying, “Whoa! What happened to this guy?” The issues we rightly rant about are so vexing because we long for the Godly alternatives. Pleasant doesn’t mean compromising or giving up nor does it preclude appropriate righteous indignation. And the dirty little secret is that this mood will pass and I’ll be back in form before long but for now I’m gonna try to follow Elwood’s recommendation.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Joe Stillman says:

    Save it for Primary Time!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Andrew says:

    I wonder about the same things quite often.
    Luckily I don’t do Twitbook or Insta-ping or any of the others so it’s just my WordPress blogging community for the most part. I try to be civil and refrain from insulting when challenged or vilified.

    Liked by 1 person

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