As much as I have been trying to avoid this I no longer can. Social media has caught up to me, or vice versa, and I can’t take it anymore. Facebook used to be a good forum to keep in touch. See what others were doing. It even became a way to reconnect with friends and relatives. A lot of whom I had not connected with in a long time. Then FB morphed into something different. It has become a challenge to seek out information on friends that is actually interesting and uplifting.
We just survived the federal election. It was a long, drawn out affair. Facebook was rife with opinion and rhetoric. I did not see many postings on any worthwhile policy issues. Politics no longer offers discourse or conversation. It has become a blame game. One side attacking the other. Right versus left and some up the middle. Some of the rhetoric was maddening. Some was disturbing. Some was ludicrous to the point of being funny, in a sad sort of way. I had to keep reminding myself that each person had their right to an opinion. And just because they voiced something that I did not agree with did not make them any less of a person. After all I am a mediator. I did make an effort to understand.
So like I said, I did survive. Then when the election was over and the Liberals won quite handily the rhetoric took on a whole new life. What caused me the most concern, dare I say consternation, was the ideas thrown out by the Christian right. If I were to believe what was said we had lost God and were being governed by Satan. Supposedly Trudeau had said that Christians were Canada’s biggest plague, and based on some comments I saw, that could well be accurate. Where all this came from I have no idea. Throw in some comments made by the president of Israel, add in the anti-Muslim sentiments, and comments by the GOP presidential candidates down south, I kept seeing stuff that was quite disturbing.
Then when things have settled down to some degree Paris experiences some horrific attacks by ISIS. And again the rhetoric starts. Suddenly, in some people’s view, all Muslims should now be categorized as terrorists. Granted the terrorists do their evil deeds under the guise of Islam, but as many Muslims are quick to point out these terrorists use selected portions of Islam to justify their mission. Hey, I know some Christians like that as well. Always liked the quote, “A dangerous book the Bible is. It can be made to say anything, its meaning in the eye of the beholder”. I suspect that could probably be said about most any religious “seminal” book.
So that was enough to take care of that. Instead of responding, and running the risk of upsetting people, I unfriended some friends. The choice was simple. Fight or flight. I decided to run. Avoid the potential of conflict. Classic example of what I suggest people don’t do. I was also troubled by the fact that I did not seek to understand. Show some curiosity. But I couldn’t. It was to upsetting for me.
Perhaps I am a bleeding heart Liberal. Maybe a Christian outside of mainstream Christianity. Some may suggest not a Christian at all. Just recently I heard someone suggest that religion, and I believe this fits for politics as well, has gone from a point of faith and curiosity to one of certainty. “I am right, you are wrong, shut up.” We have lost our ability to show kindness and compassion to others. We have lost the ability to be kind and compassionate to ourselves. We seek to blame as a means to rid ourselves of pain and discomfort. For me it is time to hit the reset button. Do what I can to make this world a better place. The quote below is insightful. Give it some thought. Make it a good one.
“The emptiness and the silence is so great. I look and do not see.”