Wrecking and Building
One morning a dear friend of mine made an observation on facebook. It was an observation about facebook, actually. More specifically about how people react to
different types of posts.She was discouraged by how posts that are negative and complaining seem to get more attention and more “likes” to than the positive, more upbeat ideas. Her statement resonated with several people, including me.
There are many theories about why the negative could tend to be celebrated while the positive is frequently snubbed, but I think this is a big one:It's much much easier to destroy than it is to build.
Think about it. Even in amoral contexts this is true. A house of cards is difficult to set up but the slightest touch will topple it.It takes a lot more effort to prepare Thanksgiving dinner than it does to eat it.It takes time, planning, skill, etc, but to consume the meal, all you have to do is show up. Toddlers do it.And speaking of toddlers, it takes some time to fold the laundry, but my boys could strew it around the living room in seconds. But what about things that matter?How much harder is it to infuse another person with confidence than it is to belittle them?How much more difficult to cheer someone who is suffering than to criticize someone who is flourishing? I know from personal experience that it's difficult to write a story, but easy to pick apart one I don't like.
The challenge is to choose what's best. To do what's right. I think that people tear down because it makes them feel powerful.For example, bullies think that if they diminish someone else it makes them more important.That is the cowardly way.The better way is described in Proverbs 15:13 “A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.”I don't think it's as easy as it sounds, but the right thing rarely is.