Hot takes are ubiquitous in politics and sports….

We hear them from the media…and not just those people who consider themselves professional media, but also those on social media. Hot takes are those pearls of “wisdom” that often come as knee-jerk reactions to events happening in real life.

Journalists and columnists use them to create a platform to be heard. I actually enjoy following along on Twitter during football games and golf tournaments to see what the experts are thinking and uncovering. We see them from professional media on both sides of the political football field, waxing poetic based on either their gut instinct or simply wanting to be contrarian and controversial.

And we as a society eat it up…

I admit to being drawn to hot takes….I think we all are to a certain point. The problem is that while many hot takes coming from people who actually have information are valid, so many others originate from one of three places – nastiness, retribution, and/or hubris.

And so perhaps this is my own personal “hot take” on society.

This past weekend was World Kindness Day. The Rotary president of my club is making “kindness” a theme for her year, and I applaud her for it.

It’s easy for us to be critical and at times over-demanding of other humans who play and coach sports, are world and local politicians, and business leaders who find themselves in the headlines for a variety of reasons. Water coolers were once the platform for our hot takes; now we choose more viral options like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

In fact, I believe that we’ve become so good at hot takes that we are often guilty of extending those opinions to others on our community. That includes family, friends, co-workers and even people who coach youth sports, serve in local political offices, or provide services. We have the ability to heap judgement on to others without all the information on hand, or even the empathy to consider the consequences.

Mental health has come to the forefront of our lives thanks to many with celebrity platforms that have been willing to talk about it. While hot takes are still a necessary part of op-eds, journalism, and media, when they become mean-spirited, short-sighted, and blatantly injurious, then we have to stop and ask why. What is it that we are trying to accomplish or support?

In a weekend where kindness was emphasized, my own hot take for today is that we all can be susceptible  to judging others without considering all the facts and their own humanity. And that this judgement and antipathy can be levied against ourselves! We can be our own worst enemies.

As Thanksgiving and the holiday season approaches, let’s work to improve our own ability to stop, consider, and empathize with others and our ourselves. We will lead a more joyful, rewarding, and unleashed life when we do.

Note: My new book is coming along well. My “team” is helping me and the announcement is coming this month. I’ve made changes to my Unleashed Facebook page this week and will tell you how you can be part of the official launch my LIKING it. Stay tuned for more!

Quote of the Week:

“Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.”

~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca

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