Watching the new Disney movie, Raya and the Last Dragon, with hubby and our daughters, I was engrossed with the animation and the story. But one thing that really stuck with me from the movie was how the character of the dragon, Sisu, described the world’s enemy – the Druun. I felt that it was speaking to all of us about how we spend our virtual life. We have a choice on how to live and spend our time in the digital world. March is Women’s Month and today is International Women’s Day. This is my message to you–a virtual life lesson from this Disney animated film.
- Related: Life Lessons for Girls from Frozen 2
What are Druun?
The enemy of the fictional universe or world called Kumandra is not a person or a nation but rather a dark force.
The dragon Sisu described the Druun as “A plague. Born from human discord. They’ve always been here. Waiting for a moment of weakness to attack. They’re like the opposite of dragons.”
The Druun is like the dark force or evil spirit that spreads like wildfire throughout the world and turns everyone into stone. It sucks the life or humanity out of us and instead replaces our hearts with hate, apathy, and ungodliness.
Maybe that is also the reason why the animators illustrated the Druun like an ominous, violet-purple-black, dark web.
“Instead of bringing water and life to the world, they’re like a relentless fire that consumes everything in its wake until there’s nothing left except but ash and stone,” Sisu adds.
With this description, I have drawn an analogy.
The Druun is like the hatred or rage that is consuming the citizens of the digital world.
It’s not a person but a spiritual force that is making people hate and express rage over that. Let me expound further.
Haters Gonna Hate
As a mommy blogger and mommy influencer, I have had my share of haters. While I have generally had kind, peaceful, and benign posts of what I like, people have attacked me for any of the following reasons:
1. I am a Feature Writer.
I am not a reviewer nor an opinion writer. As such, I do not attack businesses, especially local enterprises, but rather just highlight what I like. People mistake that for being just a paid crony. While I do have my criticisms, I direct them to the management—not on social media—because I want them to improve. I don’t want to tear them down.
2. For being ugly, short, and stout.
Physically, I am aware of my limitations. I am not the prettiest and sexiest mommy blogger on the planet, but somehow, I have my followers. And some people cannot accept that.
3. Being first.
Merely because I am a trendsetter. I have accepted that now. I have been blogging long before many have been in diapers. Some older people think that I am too old for online stuff. Meanwhile, some young people also think that I am too old to be an influencer. Go figure.
There are people who would rather be in my shoes and do not want to admit it. I have a friend who told me about a hater, “Oh moms, I know why she hates you. She wants to be an influencer, too.”
There is jealousy, but they don’t want to admit it. My guess is, they are wondering why I can do it and they can’t when they are actually prettier, more eloquent, sexier, taller, smarter, or just simply better than me.
5. For Standing Up for Something.
For what I believe in. It has been many years now since I have campaigned for more plants and trees in Bacolod because seriously, it is getting really hot out here. Many buildings are sprouting, thereby cutting trees along the way.
Instead of a carpet of green, we see expanses of gray concrete. One time, I opposed the cutting of trees along our street and I gained so many haters because of it. From politicians to even good friends from way back in college who turned on me. The hate and poison they have published on Facebook against me were obviously misguided, but they are there.
Was I hurt? Not really about the online hate but with the old friend who sided with haters.
Bottomline: Haters gonna hate.
There are just so many reasons why someone can hate you. It is a virtual life lesson for all of us. Haters will hate no matter the good that you do–even your good contribution to society.
Like scorpions that would sting for whatever reason because they were created that way, haters will spew hate, no matter what you do. It’s their nature. And that hateful spirit of the haters is like the Druun.
The Hatred and Rage in Virtual Reality
Aside from my personal experience with being the victim of hatred, I have seen how people spew hate on social media. People seem to be drawn to the sarcastic, vile, and really dark comments.
Even the most benign posts on life, an accident, murder, someone’s boyfriend, even suicide—these elicit so many hateful comments!
Invectives are spewed like firecrackers on Chinese New Year that I wonder if these people are actually like this in real life. People who do not know others send judgments that are like derailed versions of what a court document looks like.
When I was younger, I would often hear the Ilonggo phrase “Tinaga nga indi makaon sang ido”, which literally translates to “words that not even a dog can swallow.”
All these years, I have wondered, what has happened to us, Filipinos?
Virtual Life Lesson: What is Our Digital Footprint?
After watching Raya, it made me think about our digital footprint. For me, it carried a valuable virtual life lesson. In the past, though few and far between, I have my fair share of some rants. But I have left that in the past now.
I have made a decision to keep maybe 95% of my opinion to myself, especially the complaints. They are not just worth posting when, after I post it, I feel angrier. Plus, I feel like it’s a waste of time composing my rant and actually replying to people commenting and sending private messages about my rant.
Instead, I would do the opposite. I will shove that rant at the back of my mind and focus on what is positive in front of me: my family and my work. Instead of making myself angrier and inciting hate and rage in other people, I would rather become productive.
Have you thought about the saying, “If you can’t say anything good, then don’t say anything at all”? It’s the same in social media. Our posts and comments are the extensions of our tongues. It is our written word.
With that, won’t you rather use your digital footprint to leave positive messages that encourage people to feel good, get to work, laugh, or just be motivated?
Make that choice: Are you a dragon or a druun?