I can’t be the only one who has felt like this, like the internet is drunk and just needs to go home and sober the hell up? I love my online peeps, from the friends I’ve made to our street team of awesome fans to being able to stay connected with distant family and friends, but sometimes I have to wonder what is wrong with people.
This last week or so, I’ve seen some serious bullying in different venues that is making it hard for me to stick to my ‘drama free life’ commitment.
You see, for too long, I lived in drama and fed it with my own. From being in an abusive marriage to picking every cause to stand behind and fight for. I was the champion of the underdog and the underdog myself in so many ways. And I’m not saying it’s bad to fight for what you believe in, it’s not. But I got to the point in my life where I realized fighting everything isn’t actually solving anything.
Fighting what I hated most was not creating the world I want to raise my children in.
But how can I ignore the pain I see? The cruelty that runs rampant?
In the last week, I’ve read about a new author who pulled her unpublished book from launch because she dared ask an innocent question in a Goodreads forum about trolls leaving low stars on her book, a book they couldn’t possibly have read yet. A gang of Goodreads bullies formed a posse and went after her, effectively killing her desire to be a part of that world.
I don’t blame her. It’s shameful and disgusting how they treated her and how other authors are treated on that site. And Goodreads does nothing. Because readers have all the rights on that site and are allowed to pretty much say and do what they want.
I want to fight it, to tear them a new one for how they behaved…
That doesn’t create the kind of change I want for my life and for the world in which I’m raising my children.
Also this week, another young woman had her profile picture stolen and used in a viral anti-feminist, fat shaming meme. And Facebook won’t take it down, because it doesn’t violate their policy. People are saying horrible, mean-spirited, cruel things about this young lady because she doesn’t look like what they think she should, and despite this cyber bullying, Facebook does nothing.
Earlier this summer, Wimbledon Winner and tennis champion Marion Bartoli was not only vehemently attacked on Twitter by assholes who insulted her looks and tweeted outrageously inflammatory (and violent) remarks about her, but also a BBC sports reporter, who never made comments about any of the male tennis pro’s looks, commented about her apparent lack of physical attractiveness.
News flash, this wasn’t Project Runway, this was a tennis match. She’s an athlete, and a damn good one. Her looks are irrelevant.
This behavior, this attitude about women, is so prevalent that it sickens me.
I’m raising three girls in this world, and I do not want them judged as eye candy for men.
These are only a few examples of ways people online are using public forums and social media to bully, intimidate, threaten and demean others.
What makes it worse, these bullies often travel in packs of like-minded asshats, hyenas feeding on those different.
So, I’m angry, but you know what? Anger only breeds more of the same.
And I don’t want more of this!
So I’m trying to follow in the steps of Mother Teresa and other great minds of our world. When she was invited to an anti-war rally, she politely declined.
“I will never attend an anti-war rally; if you have a peace rally, invite me. I am learning that if you focus on what you want, (peace) instead of what you don’t want, (war) you will receive it in abundance.” ~Mother Teresa
Last night, in midst of my own inner struggle to decide how I wanted to respond to all these injustices I’ve seen, our 9 year old daughter begged us to watch The Secret together as a family. I’m not sure how she knew about the movie or why she wanted to watch it so bad, but I wasn’t going to tell her no. So the five of us sat down together and watched The Secret.
This film is about the Law of Attraction, with some of our greatest leaders in philosophy, quantum physics and self-help talking about this powerful tool of manifesting what you want in your life and in the world.
It reinforced my own belief that spending our time fighting against everything we hate doesn’t bring about the change we want.
We have to be the change we want to see, by focusing on what we want.
So, I’ve decided, with the help of my husband, Dmytry Karpov, to create a page where like-minded people can come together to share memes, quotes and stories about people and organizations who are doing it right. Who are being the change.
This page supports body acceptance, tolerance for differences in culture, religion and politics, and encourages kindness, love and happiness in all of our interactions with each other. My hope is that this will be a place people can come to be inspired, to see the good in humanity and how we can make a difference in our world.
It’s called, We Are The Change, based on the quote from Mahatma Gandhi,
“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
I want to encourage you all to join us here. This page is not about our books or us at all, it’s about you, the world we live in, the people everywhere who are affecting change for the better. We want to hear your stories; we want you to share what inspires you. We want to form a community that uses a positive focus to create a better world, virtually and physically.
Let me be clear about a few things: I’m not opposed to petitioning for things that will make online venues bully free. I’m not suggesting people can’t leave bad reviews of books (even my books.) I’m not saying we can’t have differing opinions about life, religion, politics or the world. I’m saying that all of this can be done without bullying, cruelty or intimidation. I’m saying there’s space enough for all of us to live together in peace, without fighting.
Will you join us?
Like We Are The Change, here and share in this journey.