I love Facebook memes. They make me laugh, empower me, inspire me, and actually teach me quite a bit about the people who are posting them. I’ve had a meme change my perspective a time or two, remind me of important simple truths, and help me to become a better person. Not all memes are my cup of tea though. Some of them are more crass than funny and some of them are based on forms of humor I don’t understand (think Star Wars, Comic Con, and computer programming jokes).
Every once in a while I come across a meme that is meant to be inspirational, but that is actually completely off base. I would categorize some of the advice being peddled by these memes as downright destructive, and I always have to fight back the urge to completely expose them in the comments field. Here are some examples of what I’m talking about, and my rewrites:
1) This is a nod at the fairly modern notion that we shouldn’t engage in any activity that isn’t immediately enjoyable. Don’t let your job crowd out your passions, but don’t put off meeting the needs of your family in order to chase down your passion. The mechanics and builders and call center employees keep this crazy world running. You can be proud of your contribution no matter what it is, as long as you never accept a day’s wage for a half-assed job.
There’s no shame in putting in a hard day’s work. Don’t ever let anybody make you feel small for working hard and doing what it takes to support yourself and your family.
2) Sometimes life is hectic and hard, and even the people who love you the most will have trouble focusing on you. Instead of damaging an important relationship with childish games, express your feelings openly and honestly.
The silent cry for help is likely to go unheard. Speak up!
3) This is another representation of modern philosophy, which says that our relationships are disposable. “If you don’t like how this one is going, get rid of it and get a new one!” The fact is that whether we’re talking about a friend, a family member, or a lover, every relationship is going to have rough patches. Everyone is going to make mistakes. Even you. You DO owe the people who love you an explanation for your behavior if the choices you have been making have hurt them. Even if you’re just doing what you have to do, you’re not too superior to them to sit down and talk it out.
Selfishness is never productive, it is only hurtful. When you’ve behaved selfishly, you owe your partner an apology. The most healthy relationships are those where both parties can recognize their own selfishness, and say sorry for it.
4) You know what? The only person who needs to think you’re beautiful is you. If you can’t realize that about yourself, then no one else is going to be able to convince you of it.
Don’t rely on someone else to build and maintain your self-esteem. Get to know yourself, get to love yourself, find the beauty in yourself, and then you’ll be happy.
Social media has given us access to so much dialogue between one another, and I’ve found a lot of wisdom because of it. I love perusing others’ opinions and viewpoints, and I especially love all the variations of humor out there. It’s important to remember though, that a pretty background does not lend truth to a statement. There’s some incredible smelly crap printed on beds of roses.
Tiecen is a 30-something stay-at-home-mom, who works as a content writer to help meet her family's needs for tutus and gymnastics. The more time she can spend with her husband and little girls, the happier she is! Find out more about her life adventures at www.tiecen.blogspot.com.