I have a new life philosophy. So many things make me angry and I see so many things that are unfair, and people and animals being hurt, and people feeling bad about themselves and thinking they are ugly, and all kinds of things that make me feel like there is no way I can ever combat all the bad that is happening. And I am right, I am not going to change the world. There are more bad guys than there are good guys and the prevailing attitude in the world seems to be hate and negative and “you aren’t good enough”.
But I can change a person’s day, a cat’s life, a kid’s fears, a dog’s living conditions…there is a lot I can do, I just need to Say Something. How many times have you seen something – there are endless possibilities – that you just really wanted to say something about, and you didn’t? Well – it’s easy, Say Something.
There is someone sitting alone eating lunch and you are thinking “that is horrible, that poor person is sitting alone”. So Say Something. You can say “Hey, mind if I sit down?” or “Can I eat lunch with you?” or “Are you alone on purpose or can I sit with you?”. You aren’t changing the world, you aren’t saving a life, but hey, you are making that one person’s lunch hour a little more interesting.
Some jerk in line is being mean to the cashier who is obviously doing the best job she can – you can put your head down and Tweet and Facebook about what is happening or hey, you can Say Something. “It’s not nice to treat people that way” or “You should be nicer to people” or “Maybe you are having a really bad day, but you shouldn’t take it out on other people and I hope your day gets better”.
You don’t even have to Say Something out loud. You see a kitty walking down the street, you can say to yourself, does that kitty need help? Yes? Then do something! Save the kitty! Is your neighbor’s dog always outside and doesn’t have any water? Say Something to the owner and then give the dog some water.
This works in all kinds of ways – sometimes you want to Say Something but you think you might embarrass someone or they might get offended. Well, you know what? I freaking want to know if I have something in my teeth, so SAY SOMETHING!!! Tell me it’s there so I don’t go around grinning like an idiot with a hunk of lettuce in my teeth. If my pants are making my ass look like it has its own zip code, tell me that maybe I should wear another pair of pants. Does that lady on the bus across from you have lipstick on her teeth? Be subtle, but let her know. Your neighbor’s dog barks nonstop when she isn’t home and drives you nuts? Say Something to her! She’s not home, she doesn’t know her dog is barking nonstop!
You just left a public restroom and YOU KNOW you used the last of the last roll of toilet paper, and then you pass someone who is going in to the bathroom. For the love of God, SAY SOMETHING! Don’t let that person go in there and get stuck!!!
Your best friend thinks it is hilarious to make fun of your inability to identify all the states in the U.S. but really, you find it very embarrassing and wish she would stop. Say Something! She thinks she’s being funny, she has no idea you are actually hurt by it.
Speak up! For yourself, for others, for animals – Say Something!
Was that unmarked van sitting outside your neighbor’s house for the whole day or did you imagine it? Say Something, because you know what? Unmarked vans are never good.
Did your coworker show up with bruises again? Say Something.
You don’t have to be mean in what you say, it can be very simple. “I don’t know if you are aware of it, but telling your daughter she’s too fat for that outfit probably really hurt her feelings” or “You look upset, are you ok?” or “What can I do for you?” or “Do you need help lifting that?” or “Hey, you dropped this” or “That looks suspicious, I’m going to alert the proper authorities” or “Do you want to talk?” or “The conditions of this nursing home don’t seem very hygienic, I think I should tell someone” or “Please don’t ruin the merchandise in this store like that, it isn’t nice” or “Hey, I know your mom just called you fat, but I wanted you to know that I think you are beautiful” or “That dude who just publicly made fun of you is an ass, want to hang out with us?” or “Hey, I don’t know you but I really like your hairstyle, it suits you”.
There are a bazillion situations you could just Say Something and make someone happy or improve an animal’s life or save someone without even realizing it. How many times have you seen someone who looks really nice and you just thought “Wow, that person looks nice” – go ahead and tell them, I bet it would make their day. An old lady is wearing her hand crocheted cat sweater (yeah, no joke, that’s going to be me someday soon), compliment her! She worked hard on it, and damn it, she loves cats. Acknowledge that!
So that is what I am going to do. I know I can’t change the world, but I am going to be a force of happiness and joy and hope and comfort in any small way that I can.
Here is a picture of my brother’s dog, Cindy.