Scrolling through social media, I saw a woman's comment about how she wouldn't attend an upcoming concert even though admitting she loved the artist's music. She posted a meme showing a picture of the performer beside a quote they purportedly said. This social media postcard indicated that the musician supports a presidential candidate which was different than the woman's. A media snapshot formed this woman's opinion of the artist without any further research. It made me wonder how often this happens. Snippets and headlines either taken out of context, grossly misrepresented or with no foundation of truth at all.
I reread her post three times to make sure I read it correctly because her statement seemed groundless. She loved the artist but won't attend the concert because she read that he will be voting differently from her. The musician is on tour and you read a meme with a sound bite or quote that may or may not have even been true. You summed up this performer based on something that you saw briefly and shared as part of your pronouncement.
I could understand if the artist was fundraising for the candidate but the only fundraising this artist is doing is for his bank account. This performer and his band are on tour to play their music and sing their songs. Their political affiliation (which may vary within the very group performing) has nothing to do with the concert. The concert is for the music. An athlete for the sport. An actor for the theater. Not appreciating the gift of the talent because you disagree with them on a completely separate issue takes the joy away from observing them.
How will you surround yourself with only people who agree with you? What lengths will you go to shield yourself from their opinions? Will you only rely on those who think like you do? This seems nearly impossible if you go to the grocery store, the dry cleaners or take your dogs to the veterinarian. If you shop for clothes, if you dine in a restaurant or go to church. You will encounter people who do not think the way you think and they are not going to believe exactly what you believe. And isn't that beautiful? Differences are what make life extraordinary. Your cashier, your pharmicist, your server, and your ticket handler will have different opinions and here's a hint - they might not agree with yours. Your doctor, your co-workers, your neighbors - are you not going to talk with them or appreciate the individual gifts they bring to our world because you discovered their opinions vary from yours? Will you interview everyone before you decide whether or not they can be a part of your life?
It makes sense if you want to boycott a company which violates human rights or has unethical hiring practices. You are taking a stand against oppression and not allowing your dollars to contribute to it.
But why barricade your life from the disagreements? Some of the most powerful and stimulating debates come from two people who respectfully discuss issues with opposing views. We can learn from each other even if we don't agree with one another. We can use the opportunity to communicate and share beliefs and express those opinions with the intention to educate and not dictate that it's the only way. You've seen enough political opinions floating around social media that nine times out of ten won't change your choices. Bravado only lessens the credibility of the point.
Being friendly doesn't mean you are accepting the opposing belief. Being kind doesn't compromise your values or theirs. It's exciting and challenging to explore other views while being confident in your own.
Go to the concert. Different notes make passionate music.
Seeds to Share
Proverbs 18:4 - A person's words can be a source of wisdom, deep as the ocean, fresh as a flowing stream.