Bob Marley lamented decades ago about how there’s “so much trouble in the world.”
It’s true. So what’s a guy (or gal) to do?
The great sages have gently reminded us through the ages to focus on the micro rather than the macro when it comes to saving the world.
Think: Love your neighbor. Or as Mother Teresa put it: “Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and start with the person nearest you.
I submit, dear reader, that the person nearest you is, in fact, you. Buddha said that if your compassion doesn’t include yourself, it is incomplete. But this isn’t a self-care piece.
It’s more along the lines of watching what you say. Or put another way, other-care through self-care. It came up in conversation that last week’s column didn’t necessarily pose many solutions and that got me thinking.
My gut reaction was to respond that sometimes starting the discussion begets the solution, albeit my thoughts weren’t worded all that artfully in the moment.
So here we are, talking about social media yet again.
Those who know me would tell you that I absolutely adore social media. I’ve found one platform that I like and I wear it out with near constant use. In fact, it started out as a strategic business decision to do so.
I read a marketing book when I started my criminal-defense law firm back in 2008 and it discussed the concept of primacy.
At the time, I didn’t have much to say, so I posted primarily song lyrics. My usage just sort of snowballed from there, and it’s worked. But like most things in life, there are two sides to every coin. Actually, there are three, at least.
In any event, I’ve come to realize that our greatest strength is also usually our greatest weakness. Two sides: Same coin. Social media is no different. It’s allowed us to connect, inform, learn and grow. It’s also led to several less than savory consequences, including what we last week referred to as the court of public opinion.
Sure, the court of public opinion has always existed. But it wasn’t long ago that we got our politics almost exclusively from an annual State of the Union address. Fugitive ads were a picture and a few lines on a piece of paper posted around town. And it was only approximately 400 years ago that the newspaper was even invented.
For most of the history of humanity, people did indeed focus primarily on the micro. Themselves, their neighbors, their community, their needs. Through technology we’ve now seen the rise of a global community. In some ways that’s great.
But there’s also always the other side of the coin.
I don’t propose to have all the solutions, but I think surely it has got to start with personal responsibility. We must take ownership for what we take in and what we put out into the world.
What we take in includes a lot more than just drink and food. It’s what we read, watch and listen to. And what we put out is a lot more than just our speech. It’s our thoughts, writing, social media post sharing, commenting, facial expressions, work product and even appearance.
By taking pride in conscious decision-making, we can little by little create a world of our liking. I most certainly don’t have all the answers, but I will always believe that we’re better together, which is why I choose to share.
If you’re so inclined, please join me this week in being just a little more intentional before choosing to speak.
Reach Shana Faulhaber's criminal defense firm’s site at www.shanastein.com/contact.