I am at a loss. And I have had noisy thoughts and feelings that I have kept to myself bouncing around in my brain. My social media journey has been long. It has been good. It has been a friend. It has brought a lot of good things into my life. It has also brought hurt, frustration, anger, regret. In fact I am embarrassed. Maybe that is how it is for everyone. But I like to think that I have learned from my experiences. I would hope that, just like in other aspects of my life, I have become better... more enlightened...wiser?
At the least, I feel like I have become more...empathetic. And I think it is a good thing.
I remember getting worked up about a topic awhile ago. I was opinionated. I was unsympathetic. I thought I was right. I thought the world was crazy. The world was wrong. And I hurt people I care about. Because no matter what I think, other people also have very complex and lifelong ideas. Good, kind people who are doing good things with their lives have ideas that are actually different than mine. I decided then that my relationships were the very most important thing. They were more important than getting likes on Facebook. They were more important than my prideful ideals of what may or may not be right. I really started listening. I stopped thinking that I was right, and they were wrong. I tried to understand...and most of all, I started doing.
I am trying harder to focus more on what my job actually is. I am not a brilliant political analyst. I am not a social worker on the front lines seeing people struggle in difficult circumstances. I am not an unbiased journalist, if there is such a thing. But I am a teacher. And my job is to love every one of the children in my class. That is the career that I have chosen. It is not my job to put others in their place, especially on social media. My job is to love, care for, teach and protect. I am good at it. That is what I do.
I feel saddened by the hate that has risen up everywhere. People who pretend they are good people show the world who they really are with the hate spewing from their fingertips as the criticize people they know nothing about. So many people I know are so mean. I didn't know it. But I do now. You can try to push down who you really are, and cover it up, especially when you are safely behind a computer screen...but the ugly is showing. It's out now. Everyone can see it. And it has nothing to do with being right. It is pride, hatred, envy, vengeance, arrogance, and nothing good will come of it.
The 3 adults in my family recently voted in the Presidential Election, like so many others. We voted for 3 separate and very different Candidates. We still love each other. We still talk to each other, and maybe the very most remarkable thing is that we understand each other. Because we know that none of us voted for the what was the worst of the candidates. The 3 of us voted for what was the best in them with a hope that something they had to offer would be for good. We all still have that hope. I am proud of my 19 yr. old for voting the way he did. I respect him. He is his own person, with his own opinions, he thought long and hard about who he would vote for. He is such a good kid. My husband also made his choice on relevant issues. I understand them. I appreciate them. I respect them. I voted for the other because I also have very well thought out and complex reasons that are important to me. And now the election is done and in some ways I feel like the world is falling apart, and I am sick. Not about the election results. But because of people.
I just wish we could try a little harder to all listen more. Try to understand why so many people on both sides voted the way they did. Have we asked? Have we listened?
How can we put this behind us and come together?
Maybe this. Love and service. God has everything under control...but what will WE do?
What the world needs. All of us.
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