If you can’t say something nice . . .

From "Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil" by Tim Herrick, CC by 2.0
From “Hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil” photo by Tim Herrick, CC by 2.0
Google search for “Facebook happy fake,” and you’ll find scads of articles, images, and ecards claiming that people posting happy things are liars.

Might I suggest instead a search for “fox and grapes”?

The point is, as we experiment with this Internet thing and social media, as we evolve into a global village, we have a daily choice between adding positivity or being a buzzkill.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not suggesting only happy things are worth sharing. In fact, it’s not so much about what we share as how and why we share it.

Life can be tough. Personally, I’m wrestling mood swings from an anti-seizure drug. (Some days I lose.) My youngest daughter faces lower leg amputation from a congenital condition. I’ve family and friends battling leukemia, chronic pain, PTSD, diabetes, clinical depression, and … well, you get the picture.

And the daily news is scary. We’re living in an age of turmoil and change. (For insights into why that’s actually a good thing, I recommend anything by the Tofflers, especially Creating a New Civilization.)

So most days I share happy crap—things that give me a smile or chuckle—in hope that they’ll give others the same. After all, my life’s work is games, which is all about a break from the grind, and shared moments of fun.

And some days, when I do post bad news, or about the struggle in general, it’s mainly in hope that someone else will feel they are not alone.

So I save my bitterest thoughts for my literature, where at least they’re couched in satire, and people have to consciously invite themselves in. (Care to back The Pastime Machine?) Or I spill them to my wife, because she signed up for the job, and it’s earning her a sainthood.

In retrospect, I suppose I do lead a charmed life. I have the support of steadfast family, and my friends are many and widespread, providing varied insights into what we’re facing as a species. I’m simply grateful. That’s no lie.

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