I don't know whether to wave a white flag or notify everyone that I'm pissed off. Would anyone care if I surrendered? Would it matter to the world if I was enraged? What if I stopped thinking about myself and the importance of my notifications and took that time and thought about someone else's surrender or rage? Would it matter to me? Would it change my course of life to see their public display? Would a small piece of the world I live in care about another human's moment in their life?
Two things happen when people post.
1. Their tribe rises to meet them and comments and shares their agreement.
2. Their opposition rises to meet them and comments and shares their disagreement.
People. We're not getting anywhere.
It never occurred to me to unfriend someone because we disagree on politics or any other subject for that matter. Your choices are your own and that is what makes living in a diverse, interesting society so wonderful. It breaks my heart to see people blocking, hiding and purging their friend lists creating their own online utopia. A perfect world based on what that one person believes, values and supports. Of course it's not the real world - but online we can make our world whatever we want.
**Get offline and cross state lines. We are humans who need real connections.**
It takes a lot of restraint not to blast your opinion to others with your online megaphone but as I tell my besties, be like Dory and just keep swimming (and scrolling.) Kindness and civility have been caught in the undertow and swallowed up by angry, frothy virtual waves. So much rudeness and insensitivity tossed around and left as trash on the shore during low tide. We're left with a beach not fit to enjoy.
Why are people are so concerned with their own feelings, opinions and wrongs made against them that they have become completely oblivious to OTHER people's feelings, opinions and wrongs made against them? News Flash: Bad things happen to other people. *Insert Shocked Face Palm here* It takes so little to be kind but so many of us dismiss it with a wave of our hand and an unconcerned shrug. WE have to be better than this. WE are better than this!
If we allow ourselves to be drawn into others lives and experiences we can better appreciate our own. If we pay attention to others for just a moment - REALLY pay attention - we can't help but notice that there will always be similarities in our struggles. There is a pattern to our unhappiness. There is hope in our differences because somewhere in the IN-BETWEEN is the beautiful, neutral truth. But more than that - therein lies compassion. A human trait drowning in a world full of MEs.
The other day, a business acquaintance texted a question about picking something up from my office. I wrote back and explained I would be out that day because my husband was having surgery. The next text from her read. "Oh - okay. Thanks."
Ummm, "Oh - okay. Thanks??"
This is what I'm talking about - people are so consumed with their needs that they don't slow down enough to recognize someone else's concerns. How much time would it have taken to say - "Hope your husband's surgery goes well - I'll catch up with you another day." Alternatively, maybe I shouldn't have bothered her with the details of my absence. The fact that I would be out and unavailable on that particular day was sufficient information. Maybe we were both concerned with our own issues and not aware of how we could have been more in tune to the other. What have we become? A society of MEs. Does it happen or matter to ME? If it doesn't happen or matter to ME then I won't become involved with it. We've forgotten the part about being relatable to OTHERS. The part about giving to OTHERS.
Your opinion, life story, white flag or rage matters. Every voice, position, belief, and background matters. You are as much a part of the universe as the rest of us are but our experiences shouldn't cloud or cover one another. The storm of my life shouldn't destroy the sunny beach of yours and knowing that storms come and go makes us wise that this too shall pass. Ruining someone else's blue sky because yours happens to be gray is pointless and unnecessary.
We all have the ME in us, but the WE can be is so much better.
Seeds to Share:
Romans 12:15 - Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.
Galatians 6:2-3 - Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself.