*climbs on soapbox*
As one of the ugliest political races that I can ever remember continues to rage *out there* I’m left shaking my head in bewilderment.
We are bombarded daily with televised and written media and we do have a choice whether to watch or read, but I want to talk about social media, Facebook in particular. Most of us use Facebook to keep in touch with the people we love, to participate in online groups, or make new friends. To this point in my life, it’s been a great addition socially. But for the past few months, my Facebook newsfeed seems to be polarized and filled with posts of anger and blame on any number of issues or raging hot topics.
People who have been friends for years are unfriending each other or calling the other names because of their politics and beliefs. When did we stop seeing each other as people with feelings? Where did respect go?
I don’t care who you are voting for or what your politics or views are; I don’t care if you lean to the left or sway to the right. What I care about is whether or not you are kind. I care whether or not you can act with civility; I want to know whether or not you can listen to different points of view and still hold your own, whether or not you can express those opinions without calling others a name or having the conversation dissolve into a spittle-spewing contest of anger.
I’m not saying that people shouldn’t express their opinion on Facebook. I like seeing differing viewpoints presented in a civil manner. I’ve even learned a thing or two that may have swayed an opinion of mine. I understand that some topics are heated, and people are passionate about them, no matter what side they take. What I don’t like is seeing people reduced and labeled as one thing or another and degraded by name-calling because of that label. It just really isn’t that simple, and I can guarantee you I learn nothing from those types of posts. Shouldn’t we be able to express our views and our beliefs without tearing down another’s?
I am trying to see each person in my life for everything they are. I don’t want to reduce someone to their politics or beliefs or worse yet, some nasty Facebook meme. It doesn’t matter if I agree with your politics or your views on a subject. We are all so much more than our politics. Are you a parent? Hey, me too! Do you love animals? So do I! Do you like music? Me too! I believe that our commonalities probably outweigh our differences.
We simply can’t stop seeing each other as people with feelings, as human. If we do, we all lose no matter who wins *out there*.
So, with this post, I ask you to listen with your mind and your heart. I ask you to be a feeling human being talking to another feeling human. I ask you to think and even when you disagree to try to do so with respect and kindness. If we each take personal responsibility for the effort, just think what a difference we could make.
*falls off soapbox *