Confucius and the Cake


I have numerous friends on Facebook who post pictures or status updates, only to get a derogatory remark from a “friend”. Friends and I have talked about how we are reluctant to offer advice in Facebook groups because someone will invariably disagree, but in an unpleasant way. I’m watching a thread on the ICES page now that keeps getting dangerously close to name calling. I’ve watched friends inadvertently hurt others by repeating “warnings”they receive about others – it put that negative energy out into the world.

I flashed back to jr. high, when I had witty saying written all over my notebooks. One of my favorites was attributed to Confucius. Turns out, it was actually Adlai Stevenson who said it. “He who slings mud, generally loses ground.” It is so true. If you start slamming someone else on fb, your readers associate that negativity with you. Every single time. You might think you are being funny or that it is all in jest, but you will still be connected to the bad things you said.

Why do we feel like it is ok to post such hurtful remarks on social media?

The other day, a dear friend was brought into a conversation about copyrights as they pertain to cakes. This friend tried to answer respectfully, giving information on the research she had done. One lady disagreed with that research, but went too far in how she showed that. She attacked my friend saying that she was immoral and unethical. Wow. Wouldn’t it have been enough to simply say “I disagree”? If she had clear reasons for the disagreement, she could have given those. But no! She attacked the PERSON, not the logic. My friend was crushed to be called such things.

In the end, what did people in that chat group take from this interaction? They could only perceive this attacker as a bully. Even if they agreed with her opinions on the topic, they now see her as someone who looks to abuse others with her words. Her mud slinging lost HER credibility, not my friend.

I caution all of us to really think before we post. Is our comment helpful? Is it hurtful? Is it necessary? Enough of the negativity! I’m really focused on making positive social media messages. I hope you will join me.

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9 thoughts on “Confucius and the Cake

  1. I’m in total agreement with you on this one Ruth. It’s too easy to hide behind the anonymity of the computer keyboard, using inflammatory and subjective wording (“immoral” – really?) and point out the flaws in others without looking in the mirror. No one is perfect, no one has gone through life without making mistakes (some of which they regret). Before we beat others down (to selfishly make ourselves seem so perfect) we should take a long hard look in the mirror and ask ourselves how we would feel if someone posted those comments out ourselves. Through the ages the Golden Rule still lives on. Thank you for the reminder.

  2. It really pays to weigh your words carefully. Posts written without thought can follow both you and those who are the object of the post for a long time. I like the saying which goes, what Sally says about Susie says more about Sally than Susie. Very timely blog, Ruth!

  3. It is so sad to see people bash each other, whether it’s on FB or any other way. Instead of being happy for the other person, jealousy kicks in and they need to find ways of “attacking” the other person. When are people going to realize that “what goes around, comes around”? Negativity towards others will come back to bite you! So let go of the childish games as one day down the line, you may need each other or that one person may be the only one around when you really need it. Just saying.

  4. Agree on all points. And, a point about originality and getting ideas. None of us work in a vacuum. Why else do we read blogs, subscribe to magazines and go to cake shows? One would assume to see what others are doing and learn from them. I, for one, am proud to say that the idea for a competition cake came from something you said in a workshop. No one should plagiarize, but we should be flattered when others are inspired by us and open-minded enough to learn from others.

  5. Couldn’t agree more Ruth. There really is no need for such pointed and personal opinions in the cake world against a fellow baker. And originality well, when I was at art college, if I submitted work without the background research to show who, where and how I was influenced by and what journey I took to get to my piece, then that would have been a huge chunk of marks lost. Inspiration comes from many corners, copying no, but inspiration to develop and create another piece of work in how art develops.

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