We live in a world where opinions are strong, fears are heightened, and feelings are being trampled over with no regard for humanity. In a time where we allow social media to blindly dictate our opinions, we have thrown our hate around with a like or a comment all in the name of what we proclaim to be “right”. Many of us have become so disgusted with the other side that we don’t care that we are talking about people. Actual human beings. We are more determined to prove our point that I am right and you are wrong.
But what I have seen is that when you weed through the clutter of ignorance, hate, and lies – when you stop and listen – you will find people who are hurting. You will hear stories like my friend whose daughter (who happens to be black) was made fun of by three girls in her class (who happen to be white) saying they don’t like her anymore. You will hear stories of those who do not want to enter a church because as the congregation sings about loving others as Jesus did, it really only applies if the others look and act and think like them. If you can cut through the noise, you will find families who are scared that they might be torn apart and sent back to a land they fled from, hoping to build a life from the country whose welcome words include – “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free”.
And the worst part is when these people try to tell us their fears and what keeps them up at night, we dismiss them telling them they have nothing to worry about. And although we have never walked one day in their shoes, we are bewildered and roll our eyes with subtle thankfulness that our shoes are different. We breathe a sigh of relief that our church would never treat someone that way. And we make ourselves feel better with a quick reply that it probably wasn’t because the little girl was black. When the real question should be – where did the little white girls learn to hate?
And we think this all happened because of one man who was elected to be President? Oh friend, please do not give him so much credit. This level of anger, of protest, of hate speech didn’t happen overnight. It didn’t happen because one man ran for President. It’s been happening for a while and has been rising to the surface like raw sewage. This election was just the tipping point.
But this post isn’t about an election. It’s not about who won and who lost. It’s about how to move forward. It’s about you and me. It’s about we the people of this great country and how we are better than this. We need to be better. We must be better. Before we post an article, can we ask ourselves if it is adding to the problem or the solution. Actually, first check and see if the article is even true because most of what is floating around the internet and forming our opinions are lies. Before we choose to comment, can we please ask ourselves what our motive is. The ability to keep scrolling is an option. And most of all, when someone voices their fear, their insecurity, and their heartbreak can we stop and listen. Listen. Listen. Listen. Validate their concerns, let them know they are not alone, and stand with them.
Lastly, there is still good in the world. In fact, there is a lot of good in the world. Acts of kindness are being shown every day which speaks volumes over whiny Facebook posts and Twitter wars. People that you disagree with politically are still good people. If you’re over all the social media nonsense, then stay out of it. In fact, I would strongly encourage you to take a day and not get on any social media, do not watch any news, or participate in any political discussions. Go for a walk, play with your kids, read a book, eat some cake! You will discover there is life outside of social media and it’s refreshing.
I live in the greatest country in the world. I get the chance to worship freely, pursue my dreams and make them happen, love who I choose, and be inspired by people living out their best lives. This happens on a daily basis without the blink of an eye. I will not let the haters destroy that. I will not get caught up in conversations that go nowhere. I will not be a part of the problem. I WILL seek out answers and opinions based on educating myself. I WILL stop and listen to someone who is going through a hard time. I WILL remember the golden rule – treat others as you would want them to treat you. I WILL always believe in the good of humanity and I will seek daily to do my part to make this world a better place.
We the people of this great country can make a difference. Will you be a part of the problem or the solution?