2014-08-31 18.24.22God gave us our talents for a reason–to serve others. We also learn and progress through our talents–I believe that talents are another way that God touches our lives. Artists, inventors, engineers, teachers, designers–just name the occupation or activity and it takes passion and talent to persevere and progress in it. Because of what we and others do; our lives our full of light, color, and hope. Now imagine what kind of world we would live in if haters succeeded in tearing these talents away from us? What if these people managed to shut everyone up? I’m not talking differences of opinion and honest feedback; I’m talking road-raging/ Simon Cowel bullying that rips dreams from those who are doing their best to share their talents with the world.

Recently, a writer friend of mine got attacked with a round of damaging book reviews. Already in pain because of health issues, plagued by nightmares; she woke up to see someone had read her book and hated it…not just hated it, but the reviews (one after another) made things very personal–basically, the reviewers forgot that there was a real person behind this book–my friend seriously considered giving up. For a morning she forgot all the good that she had done with her talent and she felt worthless. This is a tragedy–not just for my friend, but also as a reflection of our society.

And no, this isn’t the first time this kind of thing happens. I’m sure ALL of you have experienced something like this–anyone who has put themselves out there has. I’m a writer, and I’ve had my share of bad reviews and bad reactions to them–I HAVE to let these harsh words slide over me; I have to learn from them; I have to turn to God for comfort; I have to reevaluate why I do what I do. The years have taught me–they still will teach me. My weaknesses become strengths. But…what if I didn’t keep going? Life would be a little less…well, less happy, less bright–for me and for those my life touches. Sooo, If I could reach out to anyone who feels like giving up, I’d like to encourage you to keep trying; ignore the voices telling you that you’re not good enough. Share your talents with the rest of us–keep progressing. Spread the light, the color, the hope! And then on the flip side; to those faced with the choice of either encouraging or tearing others down–choose to encourage! Let’s lift and strengthen those who are working on their talents. Help them to grow. Let’s learn to be more civil. I’ll work on it too.

Now for the whole reason I ended up writing the above: another writer friend of mine got fed up after what happened to our mutual friend. and so she decided to write about this new trend of bullying artists online on her blog, and so I’m sharing the link of this below (but I’ve realized as I wrote this “rather long” post that it isn’t JUST about not being a bully; this is about NOT letting the bullies get to you. My writer friend gathered her courage and she’s not going to give up…and neither should any of you).

Here’s Tristi’s blog link: http://nblo.gs/11vKXW

Thank you for listening!