What are we choosing? Are we choosing understanding and compassion? Or are we choosing righteousness?
In these challenging and tumultuous times, our decisions, words, and actions are critically important.
I am noticing a trend to be very righteous and fixed in our beliefs, statements, and choices. This is partly driven by the divisive nature of politics and our current president. They both thrive on division, polarization, and tribal mentality.
I can barely tolerate scrolling through my social media feeds or the news online. Even my liberal friends, who generally stand for progressive and loving values, are posting continually about how bad Mr. Trump, Republicans, person X, or group Y are. And don’t get me started on all the righteous posts about mask-wearing. While I understand the logic, the way the posts are stated only adds to the pain and strife. It seems social media and smartphones make it far too easy to fire off comments, posts, and opinions without considering their impact on others. More and more, the majority of online posts strike me as incredibly righteous with no room for discussion, exploration, or compromise. I wonder if people realize how this continues and feeds the ongoing cycle of hate, attack, and division?
I have been a peacenik since childhood and it pains me to watch all this unfold. I wonder if we will ever find a way to embrace our fellow citizens who have different views, beliefs, races, religions, etc. We seem to have lost the art of civil discourse and respect. It is far too easy and common to simply state our opinions as if they are the absolute truth. And God forbid anyone disagrees with you. Then they must be evil, stupid, heartless, etc. I have been at the receiving end of this judgmental righteousness for some of my alternative posts made on Facebook.
It seems to me we need to relearn the art of communication, focused on listening and respecting alternate viewpoints and people. What if we put more effort into building bridges of understanding and compassion?
Here is a related post I wrote with some suggestions on Building Bridges of Compassion. Sadly, not much has changed since I wrote that post in 2017. In fact, the strife seems to be growing with more racism, hatred, killing, violence, protests, and division.
Will you join me in building bridges online and in our daily lives?
Here is a soulful song by Ruthie Foster called Crossover about building bridges that I heard just as I was finishing this post!
Do you agree with my viewpoint or is it distorted? I’d love to hear your perspectives.
Meanwhile, I pray that peace, love, and compassion grow in our hearts. 🙏