Black people, why must you nitpick? No matter what the topic, it seems as though things always veer off into the “too light too dark too ghetto too proper good hair bad hair women are too loud men aren’t good enough” territory. How do we expect for people to accept us (because you know not everyone does), if we can’t accept ourselves. Take the positives with the negatives. In accepting the negatives, I mean finding constructive ways to offer criticism and actual suggestions, instead of brow beating and berating.

There have been numerous times I’ve caught myself, or have had people point out things that I’ve said that weren’t too constructive and I then decided to make a conscientious effort to either apologize or restate my point but in a constructive manner. But I will tell you, sometimes it can be hard, but in the end, I’ve learned that people will learn to respect you more.

Take for example the interactions of people in the comment section of websites, not excluding this one. I would hope the way people address others with such contempt, rudeness, and vitriol when discussing certain topics, is not how people interact with others offline. Although there is a sense of anonymity when it comes to interacting with people online, the people behind the screen are still human and have feelings. Even online, people deserve to be treated with respect. You don’t always have to agree with something, but a disagreement shouldn’t turn into anything more than adults sharing their opinions in a civil manner.

One of my favorite songs is Earth, Wind & Fire’s, “Mighty Mighty”:

We are people, of the mighty
Mighty people of the sun
In our hearts lies all the answers
To the truth you can’t run from
Eagle flies, every seven days
Still cryin’ the blues, all about ya pay
What ya gonna do ’bout your living thang?
Will ya make it better, or just complain?

Once you’ve mastered the art of offering constructive criticism about each other online, take it to the next level offline. For those who don’t volunteer, find organizations that benefit the black community, and give back, or if it’s not the type of community you’re from, give back anyways. For those who do volunteer and play their part in improving the lives of others, encourage your friends and family members to do the same. Mentor a child, have your children volunteer as well.

Nitpicking and perpetuating the crabs in the barrel mentality doesn’t get us anywhere. Like Earth, Wind & Fire said, “We are people of the mighty..Will ya make it better, or just complain?”.

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