This post is a change of pace from what I’d typically write. I’m usually very positive and upbeat, and I’ll do my best to keep it that way. However, I will share what I wrote down during my reflection time today because I believe it may actually add value to many of you who regularly read my blog. (Thanks for that, by the way!)

The day I’m writing this in the morning after what I consider to be the most difficult day of running PodMatch.

Not due to any problems with the software, or with the members, in fact, everything is going very well in that regard, and we’re growing faster than anticipated.

Instead, it was my organic outreach to potential leads that got me down.

Before I jump into that, I want to share that I know I cannot control what comes my way or what happens to me, I can only control my response. Often, that is easier said than done. And this is one of those days that I struggled to do this.

Every day I email people that I’ve selected that I think would be a good fit to join PodMatch. I’m not always right about these people fitting, but I at least want to offer an invitation to them.

Occasionally I’ll receive a response from someone cussing me out. Others share that they are beyond angry that I’d dare even to email them. (No, I’m not exaggerating or being dramatic, I’ve heard exactly that.)

But yesterday was a new record of this sort of response…

A substantial portion of the people I reached out to responded harshly or pridefully. And it really got me down. Here I am the next morning, still thinking about all of this.

This morning as I’m sitting here writing this, still hurt from the conversations of yesterday, I’m reflecting and wondering people can be so rude and mean, then a quote came to my mind:

Hurting people hurt people.

The truth is, it’s been a rough past 12 months for most people globally. People are hurting as their lifestyles and businesses have changed. And I’m seeing that people are starting to take it out on each other.

Additionally, there’s a second problem that the world has created during this time. And in my mind, it’s the real pandemic that we’re facing.

It’s called entitlement.

Media, movies, and social media have lied to you by telling you that life is all about you. The truth is, it’s never been about you, and it never will be. (I know that’s a hard pill to swallow)

People believe they deserve more than they do and are more important than they are, so they view and treat others as less than.

This is no way to live life. If I’m describing you, you’re either already an angry, bitter person, or you’re on your way to becoming that.

(If you’re not sure if I’m describing you, here’s a quick test to find out if reading the last 3 paragraphs made you angry, then yes, I’m talking about you.)

Hurting people hurt people, and I’ve found that hurting people are normally entitled, people.

I’ve done my best not to take getting cussed out. Personally, I’ve done my best not to get offended when someone tells me how PodMatch is the worst service they’ve ever seen, but it’s not always easy.

The hardest part isn’t me getting attacked like that. It actually knows that the person emailing me saying these things is in a lot of pain themselves.

Empathy is the answer.

Learning to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes is a practice that is becoming more and more important.

Before you email someone, think about how you’d feel if you were on the receiving end before saying something.

The difference in sending the following two emails is minimal from a effort standpoint. (Please note: this was an email that I received from someone, with, in fact, more cuss words in it.)

“F*** off you stupid piece of s*** I don’t need your service or ‘kindness. Don’t you ever email me again or waste my time like this.”

OR what could have just as easily been said would be this:

“Hey, thanks for reaching out; I’m not interested at this time and super busy right now, so I won’t be able to respond again. Thanks!”

Again, minimal difference regarding the effort needing to go into these emails, but the second email is the one you’d like to receive as a response.

Or how about a 3rd option, the one your momma taught you:

If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

I’ve decided to be empathetic toward others; even when I receive these mean, harsh emails, I respond kindly. Not because I want to win them over, but because I believe love is the only answer.

Quick side note: you should listen to this episode if you’re enjoying this blog post!

Yesterday, responding in love was difficult for me. And today, I feel that carrying over.

I know this post is random and not one I’d usually write, but I couldn’t get it out of my head today. Yesterday was a bad day for me, which is a way for me to process what I was dealing with. And I realize that it may actually help some people. That’s why I decided to share it.

Hurting people hurt people.

If you’re struggling right now, you’re not alone. My best advice to you is to begin spreading love, not hate. When you’re kind to people, you feel better.

Don’t be entitled. We all started from nothing. If we’re further along in our journey, let’s help others get to where we are right now. The day you feel like you’re worth more than someone else is the day you begin falling from your success.

Be empathetic. Remember, you’re not the only one hurting. Treat someone the way you’d like to be treated. Love people for who they are, not for what they do.

As I conclude this post, I’m picking myself up. I‘ll continue to serve the world as I feel called to do. Making sure there’s love in every email, text, and call that I’m part of.

My takeaway is to remember to love people. Love everyone, they’re hurting, their lost, they just need to be loved. I think back to the Bible verse that I’ve based my entire identity upon, “Love God and love people.” This is what I’m going to do today! Love those that God places in my path.

Thanks for listening to me vent!