Last week, a new blogger from my hometown reached out to me on Facebook asking for advice. I’m certainly not in the position to give blogging advice – I’ve had this space for three years and haven’t turned it into a “business” (if that’s the barometer by which you measure success). What could I offer her? I told her some things I wish I’d realized years ago: You need others. You can’t do it alone. Engage. But the one piece of advice that I was adamant about? Don’t be an asshole.
That advice applies to every situation: blogging. Work. Relationships. Life. It means to not be an asshole to the cashier at Target, the barista at Starbucks, the friend who disagrees with you on Facebook, new blogger, seasoned blogger, your coworker, spouse, kid, friends, mom, brother, stranger. We have bad days, but no one ever forgets how you treat them. They might forget what you wore, what you wrote, how you smelled, and all the other nice shit you did in your life. Maybe you started a foundation that helped struggling mothers or puppies or babies. But they’ll remember your negative words.
Instead of focusing on the wonderful compliments we receive, most of us remember the way people shit on us. We remember when someone called us fat, or ugly, or stupid, or worthless. We don’t often remember the times people told us we’re smart, or beautiful, or talented, or special. You’ll dwell on the person who told you that you were too ugly to be a blogger, but not the one who told you were amazing. You remember the people who didn’t care about you. And so does everyone else.
Many of us are drowning in self-doubt and don’t need those ideas perpetuated. Life is hard for us all. We’re dealing with jobs and life and sickness and sadness and bills and broken dryers and flat tires and the bullshit of every day. We’re trying to make money and provide and survive. It would be much easier if we could all keep the golden rule at the forefront of our minds. And we need some good in this world right now. Let that be you.