Everyone has an opinion. With the internet connecting us around the world, we are never more together or more anonymous and alone. There are so many platforms for creativity and I love exploring what others are making. Daily, I peruse Instagram, and Facebook; I read my favorite blogs. I listen to music on my phone or get sucked into an amazing podcast while cleaning my house. I love these times that we live in.
And then, occasionally I see an apology post or a picture imploring us to “be kind” and remember our humanity. I usually do a bit of web sleuthing to find out the reason and it usually always comes from someone voicing their opinion- that the creator of content is “crap” for whatever reason. It just makes me sad.
Over Christmas, we drove down to the Outer Banks, NC. We rented a beach house with my family and enjoyed the peace of soul that comes from being in tune with nature. The beach is my happy place.
My favorite part of this trip was our excursion to Kitty Hawk, for reasons that I should explain with a bit of history.
The Wright Brothers took their first four flights at this location. I say flights a bit tongue in cheek, because to look at the markers of how far each flight was, it is actually a bit unimpressive to look at. Kids actually run from stone marker to stone marker, each one only feet away from each other. It wasn’t until the last flight that the Wilbur Wright actually gained significant distance, and their plane landed 852 feet away from their starting pointing and was in the air for 59 seconds. Less than one minute. From today’s perspective, this seems so small, so little, so unimpressive. It would be so easy to say “meh” and just walk away feeling nothing at all.
Luckily, there are park rangers at Kitty Hawk that tell the story in context of history and explain the significance of these four short flights back in 1903. From the innovations of the Wright brothers, their years of engineering and calculating, and building and dreaming, they flew in a plane that they built themselves.
And from those brief flights, the stepping stones to flight were laid and just months later, the Wright Brothers were flying around the islands of the Outer Banks. No one can deny their contributions to the modern world. We fly all to destinations across oceans, never giving it a second thought because flight is part of our world. But, it was not part of the Wright’s world and they created it.
This brings me back to my first thoughts. We may not always understand the content produced by other people. We may not “get it” or we might say “meh” and want to walk away, unimpressed. Sadly, not everyone walks away. Bullying, shaming, and negativity abound in spaces we go to everyday, trying to connect with other people. Everyone has their right to their opinion. I just encourage you to think a bit about the possibility that the content that you do not understand was created by someone. Creators make our world more interesting. Regardless, they are brave for taking a risk and sharing a piece of themselves. I commit to respecting Creators. If I don’t appreciate their content, I will keep my opinion to myself or share it in the kindest way possible that is not damaging. Who is with me?