It’s National Read A Book Day.
Yes, it’s a thing. And yes, I feel kind of dumb for never having heard of it before.
First lady Melania Trump tweeted Wednesday morning to celebrate it, saying, “On National #ReadABookDay I encourage everyone to read a book. Let every page educate you & take you on an exciting journey!”
Pretty benign stuff, right?
Not in today’s political climate.
She later tweeted the White House’s official press release, in which she said, “Getting an education is perhaps the most important and wondrous opportunity of your young lives,” among other things.
The social-media reactions to her tweets pretty much run the gamut.
Some praised her, saying “You’re doing a wonderful job as FLOTUS. God bless… We love you!”
Others took it as an opportunity to encourage people to read some of Trump’s books, “The Art of the Deal” and “Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again.”
But of course, there were critics, who tweeted things like “I take it your husband isn’t celebrating this event today or any day this year,” and joked that she’s probably never read a book, ever.
And while my sassy, snarky side might want to laugh along, the reasonable side of me knows this is all just pointless.
Now hold up: I’m not saying, “OMG! Don’t be rude to our FLOTUS and POTUS!”
I personally believe we need to hold our elected officials accountable. We should use every opportunity we have to speak out against wrongdoing.
And anger is a powerful emotion that can effect monumental results.
So if you want to call out Melania for something, do it!
But do it right. And make it count.
Since Trump emerged on the political scene, FLOTUS has taken hits over her modeling career, her wardrobe and her proclivity to wear high heels.
And now, for an innocuous tweet about the importance of reading.
C’mon people: Stop going low, posting sassy GIF reactions or “clap back” responses.
All that does is undermine the actual point you’re trying to make.
We saw the same thing when Michelle Obama was the first lady (and still do whenever she posts on social media), and it wasn’t OK then, either.
I am not going to tell you what is or is not worth raising hell over — that’s a very personal decision based on your circumstances, beliefs, experiences and values.
But I CAN tell you that words have power. And there are very big issues facing our nation and world.
SO DO BETTER, PEOPLE.
Do better as Americans. Do better as world-wide citizens. Do better as an adherent to whatever-the-hell religion you practice.
Do better as human beings.
Take the time to educate yourself about current events and issues. Put some thoughts into your words and actions and make them mean something.
Stop focusing on stilettos and dresses and being snippy about a tweet that encourages literacy. Spend a little more time building an educated argument about an issue that might mean something more.
This might, you know, ACTUALLY persuade people to think from your perspective.
I mean, that’s the whole point, isn’t it?