I avoid politics on social media.
I do so for two reasons.
First, I don’t think there’s a person in the world who has ever changed their political opinion by reading someone’s update on Facebook and/or Twitter.
Second, I have friends and family members who I value greatly of all different backgrounds and political beliefs and I do my best not to offend/alienate any of them.
Let’s be honest – we have a problem in our country right now.
In my entire twenty four years (ahem!), I’ve never seen so much anger/hatred/divisiveness.
The U.S. has just experienced the most negative/hate-filled/disgusting political campaign in our history.
Yes, we did have a politician take campaign rhetoric to a new low …. but many, many, people responded positively to that hatred.
We need to look in the mirror and ask ourselves why?
I’ve spent a LOT of time thinking about why people now feel they’re RIGHT (and therefore a GOOD person) and anyone who thinks differently is WRONG (and therefore a BAD person.)
I believe there are several reasons why we’re seeing this in our society right now, but more importantly it’s up to EACH ONE OF US to make changes in ourselves so the hatred can stop.
There are now news channels/news outlets for every opinion.
People hear their own opinion echoed back to them repeatedly, and when they hear the echo they *know* they must be “right.”
If we weren’t listening to the media of our particular bias,
If we weren’t on social media having our friends echo back to us our own beliefs what would we be doing?
Probably, living our lives in more productive ways than being filled with extreme hate towards “the other side.”
We live in a republic where our constitution gives us many rights.
It’s NEVER okay to vilify someone for exercising those rights.
If you don’t like what someone says with their freedom of speech, don’t listen.
But, guess what?
You should also be respectful just like you would want someone to be towards you.
You don’t like it when you see people are protesting?
Too bad, they have a right to do so.
You should be respectful because someday it might be you.
Instead of blaming, condemning, making rude/ignorant comments ….
BE THE CHANGE OUR COUNTRY NEEDS.
Why don’t you really try listening instead?
And when you listen, open your heart and experience empathy for a life and situation that is not yours.
You might not agree with what you hear, but you might also grow as a human being in the process.
Understanding, and I mean *true understanding*, of another person is never a bad thing.
Why not give that person you don’t agree with the benefit of the doubt?
Maybe they misspoke and you’re taking their words out of context.
Maybe they had something happen to them in their life ….
Something you can’t even imagine that created a belief system very different than yours.
If you have strong political beliefs, that’s great – become politically active in your community, etc.
DO SOMETHING …. don’t just talk about it.
It really comes back to the most basic thing we all learned as children,
Treat others the way you wish to be treated.
And, if you don’t have anything nice to say about/to someone,
Don’t say anything at all.
Or, should I rephrase that to say,
“If you can’t post nice, positive, things on social media please don’t post anything at all.”
Look in the mirror – please.
Can you do better?
Can you BE better?
Let’s all give it a try ….
We can make the world a better place one person at a time.