Today, the WordPress prompt wonders about the eighth sin. It suggests that writers expound on what that sin might be for them and why.
The eighth sin is pessimism used intentionally or sometimes unintentionally to squash someone’s hopes or dreams. All of us have aspirations, hopes and dreams. All of us have dreams that we cannot, or choose not to act on. Sometimes in trying to create or realize a dream the realization falls short of what we were attempting. I choose to believe that most of us are acutely aware when our dreams turn out differently than we plan. This is not necessarily a bad thing and might, in fact be a happy surprise.
Sometimes people say negative things to us due to their own need to protect themselves. Sometimes they say things to try to protect us from “failure.” This is a dangerous reaction even when it is sincerely well-meaning. If we do not try we cannot learn. If we try and fail to execute our intentions in some way we learn how we might approach whatever it is we are trying to do in the future. We can try again.
Naysayers, pessimists and sometimes mean people take too much delight in telling us why we cannot realize a dream. This is soul crushing, even if it may be true. It also takes the joy and meaning out of life because sometimes the action of creating a dream is actually what we most want to engage in.
The adage, “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything” is applicable here. Knowing I have been guilty of this sin, going forward I hope to choose kindness, ask better questions that might be helpful, and keep my fears or negative experience to myself, unless I am asked. Even then, I hope to choose encouragement as my offering. please do not confuse such responses with the kind of thinking that only offers positive reinforcement. I’m not suggesting that the world and all people in it need always be positive. I am suggesting that we take care in addressing others and not assume the worst.
Kindness usually wins, because like joy it is more lasting. Meanness may make someone feel better about themselves, but usually at the expense of someone they care about.
If any of my readers want to weigh in on this topic, or address their own eighth sin, here is the WordPress link.