Wednesday, September 9, 2015

More pictures. Less yelling. Please.

I am the woman that cries standing in line to vote. I wear red, white and blue and I usually hum the Star-Spangled Banner. I have cherished the right. I value the sacrifices many have made to give me that right. I am proud to be an American.

But I have to say that having said all of that...nothing kills my joy like election season since the birth of social media.

We have moved around the country over and over again for school/training/jobs. We spent 10 years in the desert as far from "home" as I could ever imagine. And I homeschooled for six of those years which can be translated as I spent very little time with other adults outside of my home from six years.

Hear me. I LOVE the fact that Facebook was invented and allowed me to connect with my dear ones far and near -- friends made as we journeyed from training ground to training ground and even from one side of the Valley of the Sun to the other. In the middle of my long days of teaching my amazing wonderful children, I counted on a brief look at FB on my phone to connect with even just ONE other adult and know I wasn't alone. It kept me sane...well, it kept me from going completely crazy.

Face to face time always trumps computer to face, but, oh dear ones, this computer thing has been a gift. I have connected, reconnected, celebrated births, prayed for illnesses and watched my darling friends' children grow and blossom all from the beauty of this media. I have cried with, smiled with and celebrated with so many because we aren't in what I describe to my children as the dark ages anymore. For years, we moved and the cost of phone calls prohibited remaining in close contact. But this instant photo-album, status posting thing closed the door on all of that. Praise the Lord.

Right up until it stopped being about catching up, engaging in the lives of each other and supporting one another -- and became about posting links that berate each other, statuses proclaiming the harshest of opinions, and memes that slam those who oppose your views.

Honestly, I would make my children wash their mouths out for half of what is posted and make the other half sit in a corner for trumping up lies -- or at the most half-truths.

Seriously, enough.

I want to see your kids' going back to school pictures. I need to know how I can pray for you. I want to know what scholarship you kiddo received and which school is lucky enough to snatch him up!

Really, if you want to have coffee and discuss your views -- like views, differing views, views that just strike you as funny -- call me. I am a woman who thinks and reads and at 40-something realizes she always has much to learn. IF we are in relationship -- do you get me? I don't want you yelling at me one-sidedly. I don't want you be-rating me without ever hearing my opinion. And I don't want you to think that just because you post it on social media you are NOT attacking anyone and everyone with a different view. You are. And you are not going to change my opinions on presidential candidates that way. You are not going to convince me that you are right about your agenda that way.

So please, can we stop. Can we work toward relationship building where maybe, just maybe, we garner enough respect for one another that I am willing to listen to you and you are willing to listen to me?

Because listening to each other, building relationships with each other, that my friends is the true way to make a difference.

Carol - The Blessings Counter