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Attention complainers, whiners, downers, agitators, dividers and those filled with negativityPosted Friday, July 30, 2010, at 10:37 AM
An open letter to all complainers, whiners, downers, agitators, dividers and those full of negativity:
In simple terms, my message to you is take a deep breath, look on the up side of things and smile.
I know that's a pretty bold and idealistic statement from a long-time journalist, who by nature is skeptical and cynical when someone tells me anything.
I had a college professor a long time ago who drove home a point about verifying things before you take them as gospel.
He said, "If someone tells you your mother loves you, make a call and check it out."
Nonetheless, I do prefer, but I am not always successful, in seeing the glass half full, rather than half empty.
I try to look for a sunrise or bright spot in things, rather than the sunset or doom and gloom.
That thought pattern is much healthier and beneficial for me personally and for our Greene County community as a whole.
In recent months and with increasing frequency in the past couple of weeks, the negative, hurtful, rude, less-than-bright and downright mean thoughts posted as comments on our website have been rather disturbing.
I firmly believe there are a lot of very unhappy folks out there in our reader nation. They are thankfully reading our news stories everyday, but unpleasantly using the comment forum on the website to exhibit a heaping helping of ill will toward others.
Many of the foul and personally hurtful comments get zapped by the delete button before most people see them, but some of them do go online. We simply don't have the manpower, resources or patience to sift through them all.
It's pretty amazing how mean, bold and nasty our commentors can be when they are allowed to post their thoughts anonymously under the cover of a screen name. I bet that would decrease if they had to affix their names to their comments -- like our staff writers do every day.
A few of us here at the newspaper can and do look at the names of those commenting, and to be honest, sometimes we just have to shake our heads in amazement because some are made by people whom you would never imagine could be so crude and downright cruel.
For many people, it is easier to be negative than it is to be positive.
If you are thinking negatively, you are taking the easy path.
Negativity is unattractive.
Would you rather be around someone who is grumpy and moping and complaining, or would you rather spend time with someone who is uplifting and always looking for the good in a situation?
Negativity is pointless.
Being negative does not get you anywhere. There is absolutely nothing to be gained from looking at the negative side of things.
So, with all of that said, let's agree to a civility truce.
Meaning, think before you comment.
Ask yourself if your comments are personal attacks, hurtful, libelous, argumentative or downright dumb.
Or possibly a better gauge is, would your family be proud of what you are writing or saying about others?
If you answered "yes" to any of the described queries, simply sign your real name the next time you are inspired to comment on the website.
Your neighbors might be very interested in knowing exactly what you are thinking?
The words of a wise former president with Hoosier ties, Abraham Lincoln, still ring clear and unwavering on this matter.
He said, "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."
That is a point to ponder.
Nick is the assistant editor for the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached by telephone at 847-4487 or 1-800-947-4487 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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