Friday afternoon. A good time to blog because nobody reads on Friday afternoons, right? Lately it feels like nobody reading might not be a bad thing. And everyone can relax because I'm not going to weigh in on the refugee argument here. Not precisely anyway but make no mistake, it is an argument.
Everything is an argument, and that's what I really want to weigh in on.
Raise your hand if you've changed your mind on a particular issue because somebody posted a snarky comment on Facebook insinuating or outright saying you're an idiot? Yeah.
So can't we just stop? Why can't we stop? Why is there this insatiable need to prove you're right and I'm wrong. You're smart and I'm not. You love the poor and I don't. You're a Christian and I'm not and by golly I'm going to convict you of your transgressions in a public forum, and I'm going to do it in a way that doesn't just quietly offer you another point of view. I'm going to eviscerate you, judge the state of your heart and life because you asked a legitimate question and I'm a Bible expert.
Except very few people posting and commenting are actual experts. They're just average citizens with a Facebook page or Twitter account, a lot of opinions and most importantly, absolute certainty in their rightness.
I think we can all agree the refugee crisis is serious and complicated. Like almost every other issue that's divided our country in the past few years, this isn't an all or nothing deal, so why can't I have more than five minutes to make up my mind about what I want to see happen?
I'm not alone in feeling the need to step back and look at all the pieces of the puzzle. So many people feel conflicted about the right way forward, but woe to you who don't have an instant opinion.We're not allowed to feel conflicted about anything anymore. An issue arises and in a matter of seconds everyone and their brother is posting in ALL CAPS!!! where they stand, which is their perogative, but please don't tell me where I stand when I haven't been able to articulate it myself.
With almost everything that's occurred in our nation and around the world recently we've rushed to judgement. We're sheep, and nowhere is this more evident than in the online community. People follow speakers, high profile Christian authors and commentators, celebrities, political figures, people they admire for one reason or another and when that high profile person spits out their position, we're literally like sheep. We jump on the bandwagon without hesitation and heartily echo yes me too, without taking the time to figure out if what that person has espoused is true and accurately reflects how we feel or if we just lack the energy to swim upstream.
There are big problems in the world. Huge. Ginormous. Too big to tackle on our own. We need conversation. We need ideas to be floated out there, lots of ideas. We need to be able to have reasonable discussions about the important issues facing our communities and our world, and it seems we've lost the ability to do that. Calling someone names isn't going to get us anywhere, except further and further across a divide I fear we're in danger of never mending.
The judgements hurled at people who disagree with some particular point of view have made me feel a little bit sick to my stomach this week. I want to curl up and hide away from the nastiness, to not speak, voice an opinion, or ask an honest question, but here I am blogging. Because I want things for this tired troubled place we temporarily call home.
I want us to think for ourselves. I want us to listen. I want us when things go pear shaped to wait a second for the dust to settle and facts to emerge before hitting someone over the head with an opinion. I want us to quit judging the quality of a person's heart on the basis of a status update. I want people who hold positions of influence to be gentle in their responses to those who are trying to understand a world gone mad.
Do I think this post is going to change anyone's mind or behavior? Probably not, but that's not why I write. My blog is a journal, not a point of persuasion. I don't have a big following, but some important people really do read my blog. My daughters. And I want them to know their mother believes no matter how ugly the world becomes, they can still choose to be beautifully kind.
There is much written online I suspect is later viewed with regret, but dear daughters you will never be sorry you were kind. The world is harsh. Choose kindness.