Tag Archive: internet trolls


troll

i think this is a helpful thing to explain.

Comment threads on the internet can be a dangerous and frightening place. Okay, that is probably not a necessary thing to explain. Because either you don’t participate in comment threads, or you have before and are very likely to know this. The anonymity one gets when one can hide behind a ‘Guest’ or ‘Pseudonym’ poster often gives people the bravado most of them would not have in the offline world. Freedom to say whatever aggressive, hurtful or disparaging things i want to because no one knows that it is me saying them. Some people manage to do all that and not even need the hidden identity. The freedom of sitting in front of a screen can sometimes be enough for people to write in a way they would not likely speak if they were face to face with you.

trollyoday

Yoda speaks some truth here. People who pick fights in message threads or word bully those who are trying to engage with the original thread are often referred to as ‘Trolls’ and the common wisdom is not to engage with them. They thrive on people fighting back or taking them on and typically that doesn’t tend to end well, or produce anything helpful.

For the most part i won’t take on trolls who are being offensive and hurtful to people for the sake of it. i have not seen much good come out of that. But there are times when i engage with someone in a comment thread and it can go back and forth for a long time and people sometimes ask me, ‘What is the point if you are not going to change the person’s mind?’

That is a very valid question and i think i have a valid answer for it:

I’m not.

audience

i typically don’t enter into debate with someone online expecting them to change their opinion.

Don’t get me wrong – there is always space for that – i see myself as the eternal optimist and so always hold out hope that someone can see the error of their ways [if the person is in error – sometimes that person can be me, which is always good to keep in mind] BUT the chief purpose of my engagement with others is the idea of everyone else who is watching.

[A moment of clarification here: i am not only talking about engaging with actual troll types, but also about strongly worded arguments/discussions with people who think very differently with me on some point. They are not trolls. It is a very clear distinction although there can sometimes be crossover. If there is a clearly troll comment, i will often engage with it as if the person is not a troll, giving them the benefit of the doubt and hopefully creating some potential for change, but if that person responds as a troll then i will typically leave that conversation fairly quickly, although the same principles below apply]

On the internet there is always an audience. When someone has a really strong opinion and engages me on a topic, the likelihood is that we are both going to end the conversation still believing what we believe. But there might be a number of people who are following the conversation who are grappling with the issue, or wanting to know or understand more, and i typically stay engaged because of them.

One thing i hope is that my manner of engagement is a lesson in itself. This is definitely more true now than it would have been years ago when i would have been much quicker to just call someone who strongly disagreed with me a dick [or whatever the christian-approved equivalent of that word is]. Now i wait a couple more lines before i jump to that. No, but seriously, i hope that engaging with someone i disagree with strongly in a manner that lets them [and others watching] know i value them as a person and have respect for them can be a great show of grace and patience [which is something a lot of us need a lot more of]

Secondly, if i am arguing something i believe [i typically try not argue anything i don’t believe!] then there is the hope that people will have their present ideas challenged and [if i am right, which happens from time to time] even changed. It is almost always about the unseen audience beyond the person i am verbally wrestling with.

Which i think can be really helpful. Which is why i continue to. Sometimes [often!] it can be hard to not let emotion take over and say something out of anger or responding in a negative way to something that feels negative from the other person, and i definitely get this wrong at times. But a lot of the time i think it creates some helpful conversation and engagement for people on the edges to take not of.

And so that is why i run with trolls. And engage with others who think very differently to me, often in very strongly worded ways. When the person is troll-like in their behaviour, it can turn out to be hard sometimes. It is difficult not to take personal attack personally. And sometimes it feels like you end up on the fire. But more often than not, it feels like there is good to be achieved…

trollfire

Have you ever observed an argument/discussion on a comment field that gave you something helpful to think about or changed your mind in some way?

[For some more comments on this and some examples, in a sTroll Down Memory Lane, click here]

I’ve heard about this a lot lately. Perhaps you have too?

If you are someone who posts blogs or maybe reads some regular ones – you know, the kind that attempt to speak life and truth and goodness into the world and are not too scared to challenge or speak up against the systems and the people who perpetrate those systems – and comments on them, you will likely know what I am talking about.

Mean people. Commonly referred to as trolls. You know those big mean lumbering beasts that used to hide under bridges and terrorise anyone who would walk across THEIR BRIDGE.

Because that is often what it looks like, right? Whether it be vegetarianism or the crisis in Gaza, race vibes or the LGBT conversation… for the most part trolls have THEIR PARTICULAR BRIDGE, or issue, that they camp out on [or under] and from just reading some comments, it is as if all some people do with their lives is follow threads pertaining to THEIR BRIDGE and jump on and attack and accuse and misdirect… [and are downright nasty!]

I have heard it being named as the ‘Uck’ of the Mean Peoples – I am not sure where this term originated, but I have seen it on posters and cover pictures and even one time on a t-shirt.

What does ‘Uck’ mean? I can only hazard a guess, although having been trolled [for refusing to promote a particular worthy cause out of a number of worthy causes I get asked to promote and for refusing to share an opinion on a topic I didn’t feel I knew enough to share on, are two examples that come to mind – oh, and if you are reading this, please do go and support your local World of Birds because they do an amazing job of, um, managing a world that is, um, full of, birds?] and having read way-too-many-for-one-person’s-lifetime comments on other peoples’ blogs and articles I think that it might be one I will get pretty right.

UCK – this term seems to be a derivative of negatory exclamation or descriptive words, so ‘Ugh’ and ‘Yuck’ come to mind and maybe it is the product of an Ugh and a Yuck coming together in holy matrimony and having a little troll baby. It seems to be a hateful essence built into a secret [or not so secret!] agenda that typically takes a specific topic [as mentioned before, that individual’s BRIDGE] and claims ownership of one particular way of looking at it. And good luck to anyone who thinks or writes differently, because the ‘Uck’ will cause that person to immediately respond in attack mode, often going straight for the jugular of personal identity as the means of ‘winning the argument’ [in their own mind at least]

“You’re stupid”

“How can anyone think that?”

“You are a reprobate” [Yup, I got this one. I actually secretly like it because the word does have a nice ring to it]

“You’re a #$%& piece of @&?$ and I hope you @%&$ die” [I just love guessing games. I’ll go with ‘P’?]

A person’s sexuality, their parenting skills, their intelligence and even their continuing existence on the planet are all brought into question as a troll digs their claws in and often the original comment or written piece is left behind as concise, creative critique gives way to slanderous accusation or vile hypothesis.

This ‘Uck’ that mean peoples bring to various forums has caused a lot of personal pain to a number of people I know or have ‘met’ online. They write a brilliant, often edgy and challenging [but sometimes completely innocent and innocuous] piece and really handle a sensitive topic well and then so much of the good that has been done is unravelled for them by a bunch of nasty, unloving, comments.

97 comments praising a written piece and speaking of how it has brought transformation or a different voice to a complicated issue and 3 mean-spirited, Uck-flavoured, troll speaks and guess which ones stick in the writer’s mind?

While I do get that it is out there and have witnessed enough of it to be able to take online commentary with a pinch of salt, I cannot for the life of me figure out where it originates. A lot of it is simply people being so passionate about a particular topic that their comments get a little bit out of hand as they try and express their feeling. But there is a level of Uck-ness that just feels like pure hate or evil. And as I sit and read the comments and try and imagine myself inside that person’s head, I just cannot do it. I can not understand where such a depth of hate is birthed in a person.

Clearly the growth of Facebook and The Twitterer have made it easier for people to gain access to other people’s thoughts and words and sitting behind a computer screen, hidden behind the moniker ‘Troof437’ makes it feel really safe and easy to simply let the fingers type whatever you would never be able to say out loud in real life to anyone. The anonymity of so many of our internet platforms seems to be the feeding ground from which ‘Uck’ emerges.

Or have I got it all wrong? Is it just possible that ‘Uck’ is actually a severe medical condition requiring urgent assistance and intervention? Might there be medication that can be administered? Perhaps the starting point of eradicating the ‘Uck’ of all the Mean Peoples on the internet is simply making people aware of it?

If this is true, then I will need your help. This is not a battle I can win by myself. If you are on a social network, then I will need you to start talking about this. Start making campaigns and posters, a pass-it-on-video you can challenge your friends with and maybe even a clever cover or profile pic…

What do you say? Is this something you would like to see an end to?

Then join me.You cannot stay silent any longer. Let us once and for all rid the internet bridges of all their trolls and help them find treatment and a way to return to normal society with their heads and typing fingers held up high.

We should definitely create a trending hashtag to help us bring this to the fore. Whatever you write, wherever you share this, however you plan to get your voice behind this campaign, hashtag it with me.

#MeanPeoplesUck

troll
today i happened to stumble upon this blog post titled, ‘Simple is the way’ announcing that we had been invited to move to Americaland to work with The Simple Way non-profit and live in Philly.

it’s not a particularly great blog post – more of an announcement for friends and family and just sharing the excitement at the time, but what was interesting, and what was again skimming through, was reading the comments [56 of them, including some responses] from people in South Africa who clearly didn’t think it was the greatest decision in the world:

Morne asked: Will you guys come back after getting a taste of the good life in America?

For Vanessa, it was the financial implications:

How are you going to get the money for the tickets as well as the Visas for such a long duration?

If a normal Christian wanted to go over to America, how would they go about it? Would people help any normal Christian out with cash? Or do you need to be quite high up in the Church in order to get the money?

Warren was on point with: People only have a certain amount of money. A certain amount that they can give. If they give to you, doesn’t it detract from giving to others more in need who are starving?

Joanne was worried about our family members, and the township children: Won’t you miss your friends and family here in SA? What about all the township children? But sounds like a fun opportunity to leave like the rest of the people. If others like doctors and whoever leave, then why not christians also.

And then returned with a statement that backed up the idea that when people use the phrase “Just Saying” they seldom just are: On your way to the airport, you’ll pass thousands of poor people in shacks…. just saying..

Joanne really seemed invested in our well-being, especially when she heard we were doing perilous transcription work to try and make enough money to set out: Why not get a job delivering pizza? Or a both of you work as waiters/ waitresses? This way you will interact with people instead of transcribing things all day which is quite boring I can imagine. You could save up quite quickly and get to go on your trip.

Joanne really did have a lot more to say but it seems like she really got to the heart of our leaving in this comment: If it was just for a change of scenery, then why not admit it. Why make out as if its about the poor in Philie? Are they then going to send people from Philie here and we shift people all over the world, costing millions when this money could just go directly to the poor. Or is it all about your experience, learning, your this, your that? Something like that.

Definitely something like that.

All the while these comments were interspersed with humour from a favourite commenter of ours at the time [Where are you now Brits?] who wrote to Joanne: You must leave that job of yours. Get a job as a bar lady! They pay well and you will be happy as you can suip [drink] and get paid and listen to music.

Filon was a lot more practical and helpful in his recommendations: Africa is a lost cause. Go to USA there are more opportunities.

While MJ was clearly swimming against the current: I like the bit where everyone got stoked for you and Val, and stopped trying to find something to complain about. That was my favourite part.

Jeff jumped in to question our quitting themness: I think what people are really saying is that we have poor here. We have poor there. Why there and not here? I understand that you’ve done much needed work here, but why quit us now? Surely we need more Americans coming to help Africa than the other way round?

[as a side note Jeff, Americaland in many ways could use more Africans of all shapes and sizes and backgrounds to come over here and help out – the grass seems to be of a very similiar hue in many ways over here]

troll2

Brits kept things light with his commentary [including some helpful suggestions for getting sufficient alcohol on the plane]:

Hi Brett I check your blog now and again. But lately not too much because I don’t know much about dating and that bell oke. Maybe some new age minister. I also slipped off the wagon again and took up my sport of drinking beer now I have gained kilos and moved to Aghulus for a holiday. I am starting exercise and am inspirated by your pushups. I am aiming for 20. Or maybe running is better, probably walking at first. must make a start of something.

It is funny to hear that whenever you argue with Christians, they reckons you’re the devil haha. I’m accused of this when I am too drunk and the bar lady says I am a wild devil for not paying the tab for 20 beers. I always come pay the next day or after. Besides she even drank 2 herself haha women are very bad with math. They very good at making shopping lists and spend cash.

I think it’s good that you go there as travel is an experience. I must not to a blog as Christians will moan at my beer drinking and say I must give to the bergies but I often give them beers they don’t understand. When I am more drunk I get generosity and buy takeout then buy for the guy outside also. So beer helps with that. Beer or sobeer haha you must not worry and soon you will be in Amerika.

Christians must not be boring. Traveling is fun and a good experience. The budweiser in Amerika not so good but whiskey is more cheaper than here. Are you going to Bronx. You must please be careful as there us gangsters there and pimps on the alert. Bruce Springsteen sings about the Bronx snd Philadelphia. Listen to that to get in the mode.

On the plane you must drink the wine and the beer. If you see an old lady or someone not drinking you must ask for their wine. They limit you to 2 or 3 drinks.

In Amerika you must tell on a map as they not very educated with geography. Do buy a good map to show them where you from.

But we must drink when I’m back from Aghulus. I will pay as you saving up now. I will try calm down before then. What day you flying?

To get donations you must put your account number up. Or maybe use paypal. You must open FNB account to do that here. Not sure exactly but I know it’s FNB. What amount do you need? I can help as well and leave out beer for a month.

To be Christian is not just misery, you must have fun aswell. I think Keanu reeves in little budda even said we must not just live on bird poo. We must have a balancing act of fun and hardness. The Bible also us sometimes too serious and they must have left out many fun times and jokes Jesus had. Christians must be more fun. We not living in old castles with dungeons and crazy priests.

Nobody wants to be a Christian who is miserable. It must be a fun thing or else people will not join up. Just out up photos on your site so we can check out where you are. Keep up the jokes. Your wife must blog more as she is slacking. But she must keep it easy to understand.

I am back next weekend and we can suip a bit or drink coffee. But ya put up an account or whatever. Check it out. Wish you guys good blessings.

And then a bunch of our family and friends ruined the whole thing by jumping on and saying nice things about us and reminding us that it was a good idea to go. Phew. What a fun walk slash sTROLL down memory lane… and looking back on three years, certainly NOT the easy option.

reading all those comments reminded me of the time i wrote a post on forgiveness [well shared an audio thort i had done] and got 59 comments of which i don’t think any related to forgiveness at all but were more focused on how christians like me hate animals and how i was personally going to be responsible for the closing down of the world of birds which you can read about over here – on the other hand, it has been a long time since i got anything like that as a response to anything i’ve written so i have to wonder if that means i’ve been writing too safe..?

well with under two weeks to go til we head home to South Africa, i expect that will change – last few months have been posting more of other peoples’ thoughts such as this marriage series we did, most of the posts on race [which i am looking to dive into a little deeper when we get home] and these recent series on Porn and Sex, because, well, you know.

if someone is not Troll’ing, are you really speaking the Truth? i don’t think writing to offend is particularly helpful, but writing knowing that it will more than likely offend is completely necessary, especially if you are writing Truth. so sometimes the amount of naysayers and virtual stone throwers can be as helpful, if not more so, than those who are clapping loudly and winking knowingly.

looking forward to a new phase of writing more from me as opposed to simply being a space where i share others thoughts and stories [although hoping to always be a place where that can happen]…

are you ready, world?

truth

‘Not taking offense is 10 times harder than not giving it. Try going a day without taking offense when criticized. ‘

That is how Peter Enns ends off this simple but profound blog piece titled ‘6 thoughts–let’s call them tips–on publicly criticizing and being criticized’ and while you should totally go and read the whole piece to see his explanations of each point, i thought i would simply share the six points he makes:

1. To write is to be criticized.

2. Make the other feel “safe.”

3. Learn from your “enemies.”

This is a good one: Our “enemies,” those who think what we write is stupid and who tell us so, should not be ignored. If we listen, we may hear something that only our detractors have the courage to say. They may actually be on to something.

4. Leave it be–at least for a while.

5. Imagine that, however you respond, you will have to read it to that person in a week. 

6. Don’t take offense.

Really helpful stuff for writers in particular and as Peter says early on in this piece:

to sum up: if criticism is hard to take, avoid all human contact and especially writing about God and the Bible.

offence

and if there was a number 7 it most definitely would have looked something like this:

[7] Don’t get sucked into the Troll comments… you do not need to make everyone happy or convince everyone and if you manage to do that, then the chances are you are probably wrong – Truth brings conflict because it causes a reaction from untruth and will always be attacked and taken on and battled against… don’t get caught up in pearl-before-swine-ing beyond what may be helpful. [As my mate Yaholo would say, ‘The goal in any debate is not to win the opponent, but the audience.’]

Although if number 7 had a corollary, for me it would be this – Responding to people you disagree with [and in some case trolls] with love/grace/a kind answer is often more likely to affect other people watching from the shadows than the actual person you are having the discussion with – i see this often – i know that i am unlikely to change the person i am having intense discussion with, but i know people are watching and sometimes i continue to argue/discuss for a bit longer than i normally would with the hope that it is meaningful for some of the spectators who are interested and possibly a little more open-minded with the topic at hand.

[Make sure you check out the full article here]

i read an incredibly interesting post this morning by one of my favourite bloggerists, Jamie aka ‘the Very Worst Missionary’, titled, ‘Say Anything’

there was a lot of incredibly honest truth in it, such as this description of how quickly the whole internetting phenomenon eroded into a big pile of ‘No your momma is fat!’:

evilinternet‘What we quickly learned is that a keyboard and computer screen make us brave, maybe braver than we’ve ever been. And we learned we could say anything – literally anything.

And that changed everything.

That is exactly when The World Wide Web stopped feeling like a huge family room and started feeling like a little court room. Every post is a trial. Every word will be argued, debated, juried and judged. Every photo will be inspected thoroughly for signs of… anything that anyone can find wrong. Every flaw will be pointed out, every comparison will be made, every right will be invoked, every meme will be created, every unicorn will be interrogated. There is no end to it; this great, big, stupid argument we call the internet.

Say anything. Hear nothing. This is the New World Order.’

Jamie subtitled her piece on Twitter with [Because everyone I know and like is ready to quit the internet] 

[hoping i fit into the ‘not known’ category] because i don’t think i’m quite there yet.

Do shtupidt people annoy me? Absolutely.

Do the judgers and the haters and the posters of annoying cat and christian cheese and trite ‘motivational quote poems’ get to me? Of course.

Do the people who jump onto comments to pick fights with me [and then like a hungry dog with a very huge and overwhelmingly tasty bone refuse to let go. and sometimes that ‘bone’ is an old smelly tennis ball.] and then move quickly to name calling, character judging and unfriending [relief, you just gave me a gift former friend] get to me? For sureness.

But, as i tried to capture in this post on the judgement i have received in my life, fortunately, for me, the good outweighs the bad. And it’s the same with the internet. Once we realise and come to grips with the fact that trolls exist [man, just reading through comments on most articles on any subject that gets any kind of attention provides proof of that] then it is easier to not take it all so seriously, and also to tune in to the voices and people that matter.

Jamie continues with some wise words on how it can be:

But know this; A computer screen may make you brave, but it does not make you smart. And a keyboard may make you free, but it does not make you right.

I want my communities to be family rooms, not court rooms. I want the people I cross paths with on the internet to feel like they’re in my home, where they can say anything to me. There’s plenty of space here for differences and disagreements, but I will not save room at the table for aggression or harassment. I won’t converse with people who don’t respect or understand appropriate boundaries. I won’t respond to condescension. And I will never ever acknowledge Anonymous.

Let me make this clear. I love people. I love real life people. People in person are great things. And if i have to choose between internet people and real people then real people are definitely going to win. But having said that, sometimes the internet allows you to go where you can’t always physically go and to meet who you can’t always physically meet. And i have met and made some incredible friends on the internet [and i know a whole lot of people who think this is impossible, but clearly they haven’t met my internet friends].

Just this last year i got to connect with my English/Scottish [hard to tell these days] cousin David and many members of his family and family-to-be on the internet which provided a whole lot of fun and sarcasm and shared wit and contemplation and challenge to my faith and story-telling and sharing. And it was great. I have connected with other now-friends through a post or a story that was shared or a common interest and have received much love and encouragement and challenge [even though we are yet to meet in person].

But also, i have been able to maintain and grow friendships with real people who i have met with and spent time with and grown to love who are now in different states or countries or even just towns than me.

Skyping friends and family back home in South Africa while living and working in Americaland. Sharing funny pictures and silly videos and deep thinkings and poetic musings with those who have helped shape my world and place in it and who continue to do so.

Yes, the internet is so so bad. But yes, the internet is SO SO good.

And actually, it is neither. Because it is the people who use the internet who form the goodness and badness of the experience of it. The internet is the innocent little kid who has been pushed out of the line and when he got to the front they had run out of mashed potatoes. [Sorry little internet] It’s a tool. And sometimes it is used by tools [as we like to call them!]

So don’t do away with the internet… but perhaps, there is a way that you can minimise the negative effect it might have on your life…

And there are many ways to do this [and i hope you will share some of yours below] but one that i have recently decided upon and am trying to do is this:

trollOn the Twitterer [@BrettFishA] i have largely stopped following people who bum me out. People who are always negative or always picking fights or just complaining about things [unless they do it in a fun and satirical way].

And i have started trying to follow more people who are inspiring and encouraging and who link to fun or important or life-giving things. It is such a simple change to make, and yet it can have such a huge effect on my mood and outlook on life and general feeling. It’s like listening to a certain type of music that affects your mood and always leaves you angry or ready to pick a fight [for you that might by Screamcore but for me it’s generally Christmas carols]. Just stop listening. It is that easy.

Unfollowing someone doesn’t mean i hate them, it just means i am lessening my ‘being influenced by them’.

Try it. And let me know what other ways you have found for making the internet a nice and fun place to play again.

[For the time Jamie TVWM allowed me to share a very excellent piece she wrote on Sex before Marriage, click here]

pearlsbeforelove

This right-on-the-button cartoon slash life commentary by Stephan Pastis’ gang on my favourite Pearls Before Swine strip and this one could be titled ‘The introduction of blogging’ [or Twitter] but in all honesty, to fully understand the depth of meaning of it, find any issue piece someone has written [on rape culture or a specific interpretation of the bible, on homosexuality or race for sure] and scroll down to the comments section where people let all their “honesty” hang out.

It’s no wonder we refer to them as ‘internet trolls’ [no offence to actual trolls] as there seem to be so many people who hide under their specific bridge [most trolls seem to pick a specific theme and scurry around the internet looking for posts related to it before diving in headfirst] and wait for an unsuspecting person to come along and make a reasonable comment before unleashing their Wolverine-type claws and venom.

And the “I’m just being honest” often contains the same level of subtlety as someone who starts a sentence with the words, “I’m not racist, but” before saying someone that is completely racist. “I’m not sexist but woman should stay at home and keep the house clean and the man well fed kind of stuff.” Yes, you are sexist. And now you’re also a big ass for trying to give off the impression that you’re not.

The ‘Get out of jail free’ card for insults only works for the conscience of the person who has just been doing the insulting and perhaps adds to the misery of the person receiving it, because not only have they just heard a bunch of stuff that makes them feel bad, but they have also had the tag on reminder that “it is all the truth.”

This book I’ve been reading [for ever!] has something to say about that:

14 ‘Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love,we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.’ [The Bible, Ephesians 4]

The heart of that scripture is the phrase “speaking the truth in love” which Rat is clearly getting wrong in the cartoon strip. But it starts with the premise of “If you get this right, then you are no longer acting like a spoilt and scheming child.” And continues on to show that if we can get this right, then the whole body [all of the people involved] will grow together in a good and healthy way.

I really enjoyed what Don Miller had to say in his blog a couple of days ago about his active decision to be a “lover and not a fighter” on the internet.

He highlights what this can look like with regards to christians here:

‘In my most negative moments, I think that the internet is a lot like cable news: yelling and drawing lines in the sand, drumming up controversy for the sake of ratings. There are a lot of bloggers who jump on every single slightly controversial aspect of Christian culture and church life.’

And gives what I think is a very healthy resolution for them when he writes: ‘You won’t find me taking shots at this or that public person ever, not because I don’t have strong opinions—I do, and anyone who knows me well knows that there’s no shortage of those strong opinions…but that’s the point: I share those strong opinions in the context of relationship, because I think that’s the healthiest place for them to be. And because I always think to myself, what if that person has a daughter?’

And Don has some harsh critics so I can’t imagine it is easy for him. But [although we do probably think a little differently on if and when to speak out about someone, because I do think there are times when it is necessary as Jesus did with the Pharisees and Paul did with Peter on occasion] I really like the solution he offers in terms of how he tries to use his online presence:

‘What I do know is that as far as the interwebs are concerned, I’m on the lookout for good—things that are beautiful and wise and helpful, things that connect us, books I think you should read, meals I think you could serve to the people you love.’

[and you can read the whole post Donald Miller wrote on this over here]  

So next time you are thinking about “just being honest” by pointing out a friend’s [or a stranger’s] flaws, try and remember the Truth in Love proviso and if it can’t be done in Love, then maybe you should just keep hold of that piece of “Truth” until such time as it can.

Stop being a Rat!

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