I'll be the first to admit that I am an internet junkie, spending a lot of my free time surfing the web, and corresponding with folks from around the nation who have the same interests as I do. However, it's taken me a very long time to realize how toxic forums can be. Its also taken me a very long time to learn how to stay positive, and realize that someones written word, displayed across my computer screen can't, and won't hurt or affect me unless I allow it to. Since we are here, lets use BYC for example. It is 25,000 plus members strong, and with that amount of people, there is certainly going to be a lot of folks whom I wont always agree with, who may not agree with me, and who may very well not like me simply based on the words they read. The fact is, that these people may never know me any deeper than the words on their screen, and I may never know them. But does the lack of knowing someone, and the barrier of a screen and keyboard give anyone the right to disrespect another? It's always easy to hammer out a few digs and insults, because text messages and emails completely strip out any human emotion, and combined with the fact that there isn't a person standing in front of you, makes it even easier. But do you re-read your messages before you send them, and would you tell another person what you're typing if they were there standing in front of you? In a past time, I can say that I didn't think about it, and posted whatever thoughts and opinions came to mind without paying any attention to the tone of my words and how they may impact another. I've since learned to be more careful in what I post, and how I post it, and I hope that I can continue to hone those skills more and more. I also try to remember that the thoughts and opinions of others are just that, thoughts and opinions of which they are fully entitled to have without being chastized for; after all will their thoughts and opinions have any impact on my life and the things that I choose to do? Probably not. Stay positive, even when messages and words try to get the best of you. Dont let a few negatives get in the way of all the positives. If you cannot respond with something you would tell another person in person, then dont! Respect and kindness are contagious, spread them around as much as you can. And remember, not everyone has to agree on how to get things done, just as long as things get done! It's not how you get there, whats important is that you get there. This may sound strange to some, but it was simply a 'random rambling' that I was struck with after reading a few messages this morning.... Have a great and safe weekend!