What’s Your Message?

I just found out today that His Holiness the Dalai Lama has a facebook page.

I guess that shouldn’t surprise me, but for some reason it did.  He also has 4,343,613 “likes”. There are so many methods of communicating with the world, that of course the spiritual leader of the Tibetan people would be using facebook to connect with its millions and millions of users.  The internet has provided a unique platform for people to communicate, to share their message, with the entire world. Some people use this platform to spread a message of negativity, and others share messages that are meant to feed our soul, and empower and inspire us to be better people, like the Dalai Lama.

One empowering message that I read lately was from Huffington Post blogger Nico Lang, who addressed the public’s reaction to Kristen Stewart cheating on Robert Pattinson with Rupert Sanders, the much older director of the film she was cast in, “Snow White and the Huntsman”. Nico says, basically, he doesn’t care whether Kristen cheated on Rob, because it’s not his relationship, but what matters is how the public has reacted to her indiscretion:

“I might not be concerned for K-Stew, but I am concerned for all the young women today who are tuned into this scandal, ones who are learning that it’s not okay to screw up, ever. Chris Brown can publicly beat the hell out of his girlfriend but still be played on the radio and win Grammys. However, if you ever cheat on your boyfriend, your life is over and no one will ever want to be associated with you. Almost no one will blame the much-older guy you cheated with, and it might actually make him more famous and help his career. Few will care that he was your boss and in a position of authority or that he may have have taken advantage of your youth and relative inexperience. Everything is your fault, and your life will be threatened over it. If you are a trampire, you will be publicly staked for it, even though cheater Ashton Kutcher recently emerged relatively unscathed by the media. No one asked for him to be fired from Two and a Half Men.

“I might not be concerned for K-Stew, but I am concerned for my younger stepsister who has pictures of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson on her walls, who idolizes and worships them, and who might grow up to hate Kristen Stewart for reasons she doesn’t understand. I’m worried she will be taught that it’s not okay to mess up, learn from it and apologize, because no one wants your apology, just your suffering on camera. I’m worried that she’ll think it’s okay to harass and threaten women for their indiscretions, even if men get off scot-free. I’m worried she will think this culture of bullying, slut-shaming and rhetorical violence against women is the norm, because you get a t-shirt for it. I’m worried she will learn to internalize the shame brought on far too many women today, for having sexualities, for not being perfect, for not fitting into a box. I’m worried she’ll believe men like Todd Akin, Paul Ryan and Mike Huckabee are right.”

- from “Trampire”: Why the Public Slut Shaming of Kristen Stewart Matters for Young Women

It’s messages like this that cause us to pause, and challenge what is being said to us by others, about other people. By critically analysing the messages that we hear, we can be more conscious of our thoughts, and take more control over what we spend our time thinking about. Thoughts are so powerful, because they can become words, which can become things. What you say is important. What you listen to is also important.

No one is perfect, and it isn’t fair to have different standards for men and women. More often the indiscretions of men are brushed aside with a laugh and a “boys will be boys” shrug, while women don’t usually get off so easily, and that’s not right. This is something that needs to change. I guarantee that everyone will make mistakes in their lives, because that’s all part of living. Maybe we all just need to learn how to forgive each other a little bit more, especially if Kristen Stewart has nothing to do with your life.

“Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people.” – Anonymous

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