It happened again. I opened up my Facebook feed.
I know, I know, it’s a bold move these days, what with Clinton and Trump, the refugee crisis, Black Lives Matters movement, police shootings, gun issues, etc.
It takes all of 30 seconds of perusing my “friends” comments and posts before I want to slam my laptop shut.
It’s crazy out there!
I don’t know about you, but over the past months I find myself feeling frustrated and disgusted at pretty much every social media outlet. My friends, family and social media “friends” are posting and sharing and liking and commenting on a variety of political and social hot topics.
I have found some of the links to opinions and articles helpful. And in all fairness, I too have done my share of posting my own personal opinions about the hot topics battling for social media space.
But honestly? I’m ready to shut it down.
And not because of the articles and opinions being posted.
What makes me feel so discouraged is the way people are treating one another. From my viewpoint, it seems as though we are all sitting around waiting to put others down. It’s not even about being right anymore, it’s about making sure the people we think are wrong are viewed as the worst people in the history of people.
It’s as though every American decided only their reality and their opinions and their stories matter. When in fact, using our own reality to discredit another’s will never lead to progress or result in peace.
I have a daughter who is pretty sure she is right about everything.
She spends a majority of her energy trying to convince us of her brilliance. She reminds me a lot of the culture of today’s social media…she’s five. So there’s a saying we started using in our home, some simple values we hope to instill in her.
Multiple times a day we find ourselves saying, “Truly, you need to be a listener, a learner and a lover.”
It’s that simple, really.
As I get caught up in the opinions and harsh words being thrown around Facebook and other social media outlets, I can’t help but think about the message we are trying to make a reality in our home. And I wonder what would happen if we, as adults, stopped shouting long enough to listen, and dropped our pride long enough to learn from the person who’s speaking.
Ultimately this is about showering people in love—even the people who we so strong disagree with.
What would happen if we looked at the person we so strongly disagree with or our enemy even and said, “You! Person, pumping blood through your heart. You! Person made in the image of God. You! Are more important to me than my opinions on an issue.”
What if we tried to understand one another?
What if we chose love over being right?
Being a listener, learner and a lover does not mean we have to compromise our faith, our passions or our convictions. It does not mean we have to agree with one another.
It doesn’t even mean we have to love Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.
But friends, I urge us to drop our pointing fingers and cynical spirits and with humility and grace may we listen to one another, learn from each other’s realities and even if we whole heartedly disagree may we find a way to drench each other in love.