Where is the Love?

Why is it so hard for us to support one another? There’s so much negativity, jealousy, and hatred in the world it would be seem proper to do our part to counteract that with positivity and unconditional love. On a grand scale there seems to be a debate about the significance of one person’s pain over another’s. Every injustice or loss effects someone. So why can’t we support and mourn them all instead of having to choose?

On a more personal level it seems like Black women have a hard time supporting one another. Since grade school I can remember being pitted against other girls my age. We were always comparing each other’s bodies, hair texture, clothes, and what neighborhood we grew up in. There was always a competition of who could get the attention of the cutest guy at recess. Who could stuff their bra the best. Who knew the most “grown up” words.

Unfortunately as I’ve gotten older not much has changed. While I can appreciate another woman’s beauty or celebrate her success there are many women who have a hard time doing the same. If they’re with their man and an attractive woman walks by they give the woman an attitude. I’ve never understood that. If you man looks, you should still be secure enough in your relationship not to be effected.

When a woman walks around wearing nice clothes or nice shoes, I’ve heard other women imply she has a “sugar daddy” because to them that’s the only way she would be able to attain such things. If an attractive young woman is seen with an older man, before knowing the nature of their relationship, she’s either a gold digger or for hire, assumed to be sleeping with the man in order to get ahead in some way.

Now while there are times where these things may be true, why is it any of our business? Why can’t we just keep our judgments and opinions to ourselves? Instead of bashing the woman we see, let’s assume she’s doing well for herself and give her props for that. Being engaging and kind will get us so much further than being standoffish with a poor attitude.

We live in a world where everyone is an expert on everything. With social media we all now have the ability to say whatever is on our minds and broadcast it across the world. Many times, instead using that ability for positivity, there are a large amount of people who use the Internet to pass judgment and make negative comments about other people’s lives, many of whom they don’t know personally.

Generally people are more interested than sharing and participating in dialogue about celebrities and reality stars than they are about their friends and associates. When a celebrity files for divorce or gets caught in a scandal the opinions are overwhelming. But when someone they know is going through personal struggles or starting a new venture the concern is a fraction of that. People will tweet about a television show before they tweet in support of a friend. The amount of effort is the same, but the gratification is not.

For some reason we would rather be a small (and usually insignificant) part of a celebrities life instead of being a large pillar of support for friends and family. It’s the same as the people who preach about supporting small businesses but would rather shop at Wal-Mart because the prices are lower or the advertisements are flashier. The next time a friend steps out on a limb and shares their story or sets out to reach their goals, let’s fight our urge to doubt or ignore them and instead take a few seconds to write them words of encouragement or make an effort to be there for them. A few words positive words can go a long way. You never know how much the other person would love to hear them after sorting through a sea of self-doubt and strife.

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