It Matters

What we say and do matters. Especially now, perhaps. I have never been one to be knowingly incendiary- I truly do my best to seek peace in my life and shy away from confrontation, posting positive things on social media the vast majority of the time.  However, today I received a private message from a Facebook friend, very gently telling me that they had to unfriend me because of what I intended as a silly post that would make people smile. 

My friend’s post was actually a gift, though a sad one.  It helped me to see the other side in away that I hadn’t, and perhaps more importantly, to see that the most pressing issue at hand is to be a part of bringing the torn fabric of our society back together again. The gentle political meme I posted was humorous to me and to many people I know. In fact, it was covered in the evening news just now in a positive, light, end-of -the-news-hour way, created by a person saying he was trying to bring humor to the country at a time when we all need it most. However, tensions are high these days- frighteningly and sometimes violently so- and perhaps it’s time for me to step into the shoes of others before I post things on Facebook more carefully than I already  do. Imagine the world if we all took a moment to think about that before we hit post. 

I am not saying we have to lose our sense of humor as a people (I don’t want to live in a world that is so rigid- laughter is medicinal, especially where politics is concerned). Or that we shouldn’t refuse to remain quiet when we learn of social injustice and racism. My many years as a teacher have made me care deeply about the protections for those marginalized by society. My friend wasn’t asking me to do that at all- she was only trying to rid her newsfeed of things that she felt poked holes in our already tattered social fabric. I get that- I feel the same, a desire to return to simpler days with fewer land mines. It’s just sad that we’ve come to this place of such strife. 

For now, I am going to be more vigilant about being a positive force to all- not just the people who think the way I do. I still won’t please everyone, and that’s okay. I will at least know that I’ve done my part in helping to bring people together instead of adding to the great divide that we are facing now. 

A photo I took during  a recent visit to the Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida. The glass wall is a divide…but there is light on the other side.  We’ll get there. 

7 thoughts on “It Matters

  1. Oh, Neese, this is a hard time for us. I truly do not understand. I thought the meme was a hoot, and the day I lose my sense of humor, I’m a goner. I was just reading a post about John Oliver, a comedian and Brit. He says we should not accept Trump and his hatefulness toward people as normal. I agree; there is nothing normal about what we’re experiencing. Please keep your positive self going and I shall do the same. We will get through this! ❤️

    1. I feel sad that it takes so little to offend people these days, but many are being overwhelmed with the emotions of the time, and I get that. I hope that we can begin to regain our sense of humor and the ability to at least have empathy for those who think differently from us. Right now, the air just crackles with our division.

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