I’m going to deal with a very delicate topic today so I warn you now, I’m stepping up on my soapbox, so go no further unless you’re willing to be challenged, and to see some ugliness for what it is: ugliness.
I read an article today and its publication has come on the heels of some very raw conversations with close friends of mine. Here is the article that caused me to write this post today: “How Etsy’s Richest Seller Answers Her Critics“.
A few quotes from the article:
“With great success comes great haters.”
“But one thing that may not have been in Shaffer’s vision: critics. The phenomenal growth of Three Bird Nest has given rise to a small but vocal chorus of haters who’re attacking Shaffer’s DIY street cred.”
“Shaffer hopes she won’t be a lighting rod for the DIY movement, but an inspiration. ‘I genuinely want someone to succeed who’s read my story,’ she says. ‘I really want that to be the story, versus the controversy . . .'”
I had a conversation with another retail store owner recently about the background chatter of other local business owners. She said she’s been on anti-depressants for the last 7 years of her 15 years in the business as a way to help her cope with the “haters”. She’s come under fire for being strong, for being good at what she does and for being “successful”, or what others perceive as “successful”. Is it really necessary to tear someone down because of your insecurities? Because of your jealousy? Your words hurt. They sting people. Please be careful with the words you choose to think or say about another human being. Even if they don’t hear you, they can feel them.
I also had a conversation a couple of months ago with another blogger friend of mine who warned “your circle will get smaller”, “you will be ousted”, and “the criticism will get worse, not better”. I can’t believe it. With success and triumphs comes heartache and isolation? Does this make sense to any of you?
I don’t know if it’s always been this way in the world all along, or if it has gotten progressively worse, or if my eyes are just more open to it since we opened our store a couple of years ago and have experienced it, but I am saddened by all of this. I am tremendously heart-wrenched by this human behavior.
Does it make you feel better to tear down another human being with your words? Whether it be in the privacy of your own mind (because thinking it is just the same as saying it) or saying it in the company of your friends? I see it in this business. I see it on social media. In fact, I believe social media has made it easier to emotionally sucker punch people they will never actually come face to face with. And sometimes it may not be the things you say, but what you don’t say.
Here’s what I know for fact: I don’t know a single human being (myself included) that’s better than another. Period.
I’m sure some of you will agree with me and will be glad I brought it up. Others, despite my efforts, will still come, read, and then walk away only to gripe and jab at what I’ve said. It’s okay. I’m okay with it. I took a risk to discuss a taboo topic. “Be the change”. Really.
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