Monday, October 10, 2016

Born To Love

I’ve been trying really hard to come up with the exact point in time when we all used to get along, as a people – as a country. I’m still working on that one, but I know it was in my life time. I don’t ever remember a time before now that I was in utter awe and disgust at things coming out of people’s mouths. I’m also trying really hard to forget about this election and people at each other’s throats. I honestly feel that if I put a bumper sticker on my car to support ANYONE that it would be set on fire within minutes by the radical opposition – and by radical, I pretty much mean anyone with a strong opinion and a can of gasoline.

Some have taken “opinion” to a new level. Opinion used to simply be a viewpoint, belief or outlook. Now opinions can get a few punches thrown your way – or even death. Ask any sports fan who’s been attacked for expressing a strong “opinion” to the opposition, if they survived. We’ve hit a new low in this country – one I sincerely thought I would never see in my lifetime.

I really do blame social media, though I probably should just blame the people who are being an ass, but I digress. Social media has given a powerful voice to the cowardly. A voice that can be heard from anywhere at any time and can be as destructive as humanly possible without any tangible consequences. It has created digital monsters that lurk and troll and create powerful enemies with their words, photos and rants, and likely, they NEVER have to face them. They are the antichrists of humankind, spreading evil throughout the world. I think these people are far more dangerous than any terrorist group on this planet.

I read somewhere that the chances of being killed by a terrorist attack are about 1 in 20 million. The odds of being murdered in America are roughly 1 in 6,100.  (Though, if you are in Chicago – well, just get the hell out of Chicago!) So, we post our strong opinions and hope and pray that we are not the targets of someone’s vengeance.

I’m a person who posts a lot off feel good fluff, for lack of a better description. I try so very hard to stay out of the mix and offer a little positivity and kindness to the world. But there are times when I have to stand up for things being said that are not okay. And in those moments, I advertise that I actually have a voice. Sometimes that makes people angry. Sometimes it makes them think.

I’ve always tried to stand up for injustices. I remember a specific time when I was younger and attended church with an entire family that was deaf/mute. Some of the kids in my Sunday school class were mocking one of the girls and how she sounded when she tried to speak. I remember crying so hard. I felt so bad for her. I was uncomfortable in immediate confrontation back then. So, I went home and wrote a poem about how we should treat people the same, no matter what and asked to read it that next Sunday in church. I could hardly get through it without choking up. I knew I was putting it all out there and would look up and see that family looking at me when I read the words I had written. I was terrified but it needed to be done. And all I wanted to do was let the offending kids know their behavior was not okay. And I wanted the family to know, especially that little girl, that I still loved them, despite others words and actions.

I think that sometimes, even as adults, we still have that need to be accepted. And sometimes teasing or mocking – whether it is a celebrity, politician or otherwise - sometimes the lines of decency are crossed. And you’ve got to be brave enough to stand behind the line and tell others why you won’t cross it.  You’ve got to stand up and fight for those who can’t.

Bottom line is, we’ve become too gruff and too rigid. We won’t tolerate or consider another’s opinion to the point of intentionally hurting them with words and rude comments. We are easily angered and agitated. Why are we this way? If this is you, please search your heart. If you engage – are you hurting someone in the process? Is it worth it to perpetuate the joke? Is it worth it to wound another for the laugh? Life is fleeting so it is ideal to make it the greatest you can and, though clich├ęd, put your best foot forward. 

You weren’t born to hurt others. You were born to love. 

No comments:

Post a Comment