One of the biggest lessons I have learned.
A man is at the gas pump filling his car and minding his own business. He was just recently released from prison. Another guy gets out of his car and they make eye contact. Normally this is no big deal, but the other guy roars, “What the hell you looking at punk?”
What happens next?
If the first guy, the parolee, says anything there will be a fight and he is going back to prison. He loses and it doesn’t matter if he wins the physical fight.
When I speak at prisons, I paint this scenario. I will pick one of the biggest and baddest men in the room and then I act like the second guy looking for a fight. I’ll pick on the big guy. I will push him around. I will call him names and be the jerk in the gas station.
When someone is looking for a fight, he doesn’t care who he will fight, he just wants to fight.
Then I tell them.
“It’s not your circus. It is not your monkeys.”
That guy looking for a fight, maybe he just lost his job. Got a speeding ticket. Found his girl with another man. Maybe he is a loose cannon. Who knows?
It’s not your fight. It is his fight with himself. And it doesn’t make any sense to get involved in a battle you cannot win because it is not about you.
It is the same on Facebook and social media. Many fights are about someone fighting himself or herself in a public forum. Or the person is just blasting an opinion looking for an argument without any desire for a real conversation. There is no need for you to get involved … unless it matters and you can help.
I don’t “need” to get into Facebook conversations.
Many times it is smart not to get involved.
While I LOVE a well mannered and smart debate about a topic (bring it on: politics, religion, sex) but many people don’t know how to keep it civil. Too may times keyboard bravery and ego brings the conversation into the gutter. I’ve been fooled and found myself in the mud with them and later I ask myself, “How did I get here?”
Before I post I ask myself,
“Will this matter?”
“Will this help?”
I now find myself often deleting my comments before I hit enter to post because it is not my fight, it doesn’t matter and it won’t help me, that person, or the community.
Want to change the world?
You can start at your keyboard.