Am I listening to just throw my stuff on them? Or am I listening to hear where they are? It’s about first trying to honor where someone’s at.
– Joaquin Ortiz
How mindful are we when it comes to the things you are saying? Not just to the people in front of you, but online as well?
We have a very meaningful departure from our usual topics today, and instead, we wanted to focus on a topic that’s becoming more and more prevalent…cyber-bullying.
Carrot’s own Joaquin Ortiz shares his story of a close family member and legendary marathon runner, Dr. Frank Meza, who was recently impacted by cyber-bullying.
Listen in to learn how we can all play our own parts in being more mindful.
Read the Full Show Notes Below…
Mindfulness, Cyber-Bullying, and The Legend of Frank Meza w/ Joaquin Ortiz
At our most recent CarrotCamp, my dear friend and teammate here at Carrot, Joaquin Ortiz shared with me how he and his family have been impacted personally by cyber-bullying. Joaquin is a prime example of one of our core values: Be a Beacon of Positivity and Possibility. He reminds all of us here at Carrot to go within and to shed the light on the positives which are all around us. I was thrilled to be able to sit down with him here on the CarrotCast and I can’t wait to have him on again! Later in the podcast, I will share a BIG call to action that will have a profound effect on you and those around you!
Creating Your Legacy
Joaquin often finds ways to bring the team back to center. Whether he is leading exercises in the morning or sharing with us an inspiring new playlist, helping us to connect is something he is truly amazing at. Joaquin loves to run, just like his uncle Dr. Frank Meza who was a huge inspiration to him. He taught him to aspire to be a greater version of himself.
A few months ago Joaquin’s family was struck by tragedy.
Dr. Frank Meza was an incredible man. His list of accomplishments included becoming a successful doctor, runner, and mentor. He lost his father at a young age and came to America as an immigrant. The cards were stacked against him until he met a group of Latino doctors that made him realize he could be successful too.
Once he found success of his own, he became a mentor to many others who were following in his footsteps. Running was his medicine and meditation. He became quite good at it, but he wasn’t after notoriety, he simply loved running. He began to mentor people in running, getting people more involved in their own health and volunteering his time coaching at Loyola High School.
Over the past few years, Frank was winning medals and breaking records, but that’s not what it was about for him. As he continued to astonish people with his running ability, the accusations began to start. There were running forums investigating his performance, comments and negativity being spread faster than wildfire. At one point, he had news crews crowding his front lawn looking for a story or even a glimpse of him through a window. While Dr. Meza tried his best to shrug it off, he began to worry about the safety of his family.
The kicker was when the LA Times ran a front-page headline calling him a cheater. LA was his hometown and a community he had given so much back to. Instead of being recognized for his accomplishments, his character, and all he had given back, his name was being dragged through the mud.
On July 4th, he started the day like any other. He told his wife he wanted to go for a run as always she encouraged him to do what made him happy. Sadly, Dr. Meza didn’t return home from the run. He instead, drove to his old neighborhood, found a bridge, and made his peace.
Loss Of Humanity
Here’s the deal. I don’t care about the facts, that is not what is important here. What is important is that there was a highly accomplished human being on the other end of these comments, negativity, and eventual hostility. There are no laws to protect people on the internet the way there are in the real world. If a mob of people shows up on your lawn, you can do something. Not so much when the mob is online.
Let’s go back in time 70 years. The things people say online never would have been said between people communicating face to face. Today, the internet is giving people gumption to say things online that would never be said in real life.
Joaquin asks us all to be more mindful of the things we are saying to the people we are with and the people we speak to online. How much are you listening to others without any judgments or assumptions? We can all be guilty of flipping to the negative when we feel attacked or less than. But when you attack others to make yourself feel better, you have no idea what is on the other end or what that person may be going through.
Not only can we be mindful of what we are saying, but we can help to encourage those around us to be more mindful too. We can raise our kids to build people up. Ask them if they would be comfortable having the things they post become headline news? Are the hurtful comments something they really want to be known for? Our words don’t go away in the digital world. Watch your kids and make sure they are incouraging others instead of tearing them down.
If you feel as if you are being bullied, whether online or in real life, it’s important to take action. Many times people don’t feel comfortable opening up about their emotions or how something is making them feel. Don’t hold this stuff in. Find a friend, family member or counselor who can help you get through it.
If you are seeing the bullying taking place around you, do something about it. Flag inappropriate comments, report posts that spread hate and negativity. Keep in mind there are real people who are on the other end of these negative comments.
The biggest takeaway I have for you in this episode is to look around you and ask yourself “How do you inspire others to uplift instead of tear down?”
My Challenge For You
We all have someone we are truly grateful for, but we haven’t stopped to say those words to them. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Say those things today. I want you to report back to us, telling us about who you talked to and what came of it. Send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org and Joaquin will see those emails.
I truly appreciate Joaquin sitting down with us and talking about something so difficult and personal. I want to tell our customers to look out for Joaquin as he is likely someone you will be talking to via email or on your next strategy call!
Mentioned in this episode:
Altamed providing healthcare to disenfranchised individuals in LA County