• Darcy Edl

Kindness Begins With Me

Today is Saturday, August 14th, 2021. I flip through Instagram like I usually do when I notice an Insta-Hop called the Crafty Hugs Hop. In reading one entry after the next, I realize what these posts are promoting:


A woman named Jen Kray decided to start focusing on her social media and offer some video tutorials. She is a very talented card-maker with a specialty and passion for coloring. Like many, she received positive feedback, encouraging comments, and started gaining a following. Also, like so many of us, she began to experience the negative side of sharing on social media.


Jen recently added a "Thank You, but ..." post explaining that she has decided to take a break from social media. She took the negative comments of a few people and allowed them to affect her creativity and inspiration, not wanting to be subjected to it while on vacation. She stated, "people will say, just ignore it or hide it, but that's not my jam." I would agree with her; it's not easy, but there is a significant issue here, and we all need to start talking about it. Whether in the workplace, grocery store, on the playground, or social media, the rule is the same:

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

Hate and derogatory speech on social media frustrates me more than anything. People (an assumption on my part) create an account, make it private, hide behind anonymity by coming up with a fake name and then spew whatever nastiness they can come up with, and I am left asking myself, "Why?'

Seriously, I am so busy throughout the day thinking of my husband, children, parents, family, friends, neighbors, city, state, country, this planet, and how I can positively impact one or several of those people/places. My husband and I care for my eighty-eight-year-old father in our home. He has Parkinson's and recently fell, breaking his Greater Trochanter (hip bone.) This injury requires daily exercises, rearranging furniture, moving my craft supplies to make myself available to him, and keeping his mind occupied, so he doesn't get bored. There is laundry, cooking, cleaning, yard work, a website to run and promote, giveaways to offer, the list goes on and on. All of this leads me to believe that those people hiding behind their anonymous names need a hobby and, well, we have one! It's called paper crafting, card making, scrapbooking, coloring, stamping, whatever name you would like it to go by, but in the end, it's right here for everyone to enjoy. All we ask is that you be kind. That's it. That's your entrance fee, your payment to belong is simply to be kind. If you can't do that, fine, but leave quietly and find your people/your tribe. If you decide to come back in the future, cool, but the fee will not change. You still must be kind.

Like everyone in this community, I have watched countless Jennifer McGuire, Gina K, Cathy Z, and Kristina Werner videos, among many others. This summer (and this is entirely my opinion), I think Jennifer hit a rough mental patch. She was apologizing for not putting out videos, and said she was struggling with inspiration more than once. I believe Jennifer felt that she needed to explain how sorry she was when she put out content that made a particular product sell out! That woman FEELS!!! And on a level that most people do not understand! Gina K is another excellent example. I think I remember a video where she said, "It never fails, I'm one minute and forty seconds into this Stamp and Chat, and I already have two thumbs down." and she laughed, but you KNOW that has to bother her on some level.

After all of this venting, you're probably wondering what the answer is. I honestly don't

know, but I know what Cactus Collaborative would like to promote with our August Giveaway. We want to encourage you to fill your cup and someone else's, too.

On our Instagram page @cactuscollaborative, please tell us one thing that you like about your work or something you're good at, and then tag another creator on Instagram and tell us what you like or admire about their work! It's a way to promote self-care and maybe lift those struggling with self-worth in our community or simply brighten someone's day! We will fill your cup, too, by giving your creative promotion three extra entries! (One per Instagram account please.)

Finally, I would very much like to thank you for reading through this post. Please check out Jen Kray's work on Instagram @kittenmoose and give her a follow. If you are feeling "less than" or sad because of what someone has said to you or about your work on social media, please know you are not alone. We support you and even encourage you to consider your self-worth by being free to block anyone who makes you feel this way.

You are worthy!

Stay Safe! Be Kind!

Darcy Edl