I am blessed beyond measure to have the type of friends and family that I have around me. I am surrounded by quite a large number of brilliant people. I am astounded by their work ethic, their outgoing personalities, their strength during hardship, their intellect, their thought-provoking questions, their ability to conjure up theories that often come true, their art, their drive, their kindness, their love for mankind (or animal-kind), their compassion for the hurting and dismayed, their absolute brilliance. Their brilliance truly does shine in this dark world.
I know that entire paragraph seemed like a ton of hyperbole, but trust me, I know these people. It is a lucky thing because I also know a lot of people who really don’t know any brilliant people. But we aren’t talking about them. We are talking about the good people. The smart and loving people. The ones who have everything together. You may know them, or you may know of them.
Then all of the sudden, the end of 2016 rolled around and many things changed, and not for the better. This election season has brought out the worst in us and it can be argued that it was for good reason. This is the future of our country after all. So much can change or happen in the span of four years; so putting the right people in the offices is a big deal.
The fact is, however, the worst should never be brought out of us, especially for good reason. If the reason is good, then shouldn’t it bring out our best? When did we conclude that worst and good go together?
THE VALIDATION OF OUR ANGER
I suppose you could call this a political piece since politics is the source of our anger. Unless, of course, that would make you even more angry thinking about the possibility of me picking a side in politics. Rest assured, I’m not writing about Trump or Clinton. I am writing about us. Me and you.
There are very valid reasons why people should be upset about the outcome of the election. I hear the Right screaming. But there would be just as much reason to be upset about the outcome of the election had it gone the other way. I hear the Left screaming. And screaming is why I’m writing.
The outcome of the 2016 Presidential election has somehow given us validation to render our hate and anger out on people who disagree with us, or don’t agree with us enough. Is this new? Of course not. But the increase of it has grown exponentially since Nov. 8. We are continually drawing lines on everybody. My friends are cutting each other down in the streets of social media for posting an opposing view or giving their thoughts on the political climate. NOTE: If you aren’t interested in an opposing viewpoint, then write a disclaimer in your post requesting differing opinions to be placed somewhere else. Otherwise, the idea of social media posting is to start a conversation.
The reason why we dislike an opposing viewpoint is because we fear it. There may be truth in it that we desperately wish not to see. If we can just keep the conversation going in one direction, then we won’t have to dig around for the facts or engage in a debate. You see, there is nothing wrong with debate. We all need to learn, or relearn, how to do it. Stick to the rules, and quit freaking screaming like a child. Yes, we know those are high-pitched points you’re making.
Just because you are angry, even justifiably angry, doesn’t validate your reaction of flipping out on someone, insulting people, losing your mind, and ruining what used to be a good solid friendship. And I hear that excuse too. The excuse that says, “Well, maybe we weren’t that good of friends anyways.” Or “I don’t want them as my friend anymore if they think like that.” Why?! Because they have a different point of view? Have you lost your ever-loving mind? Or are you under the impression that you are so right, that you are so clever and accurate in your assessments of everything political, social, and religious, that you couldn’t possibly endure a friendship of such caliber?
If that is so, then you do not understand the value of friendship. You don’t understand the value of people. People are special because of their differing viewpoints. We aren’t special because we are all the same. God wasn’t up in heaven thinking, “Hmm. I know how to make them special. I’ll make them alllllll the same.” We are fearfully and wonderfully made.
A REAL LOSS OF VISION
Many of us are so far left or far right that we are lost somewhere in the societal woods. The middle of the road, or balance, is somewhere off in the very far distance. Although we are lost and scrambling for reason and direction, we see ourselves as exactly where we should be. We are the ones with the compass.
The current situation we have in this country is a lot of blind leading the blind. If there is an angry group, it is being led by angry leaders. And we have a lot of angry groups. Why? Because we have a lot of angry individuals.
I’m not suggesting we not get angry. We are emotional creatures and our anger is good for society, if and when it is directed wisely. What I am suggesting is that we open our eyes and garner some vision before we blindly lash out at someone.
You may have won the argument, but you have lost so much more. Please consider it. Take some time and meditate and pray about your current condition. Are you strong enough to have a conversation or a debate in a civilized manner? Or are you too weak to take a moment to listen, gather facts, attempt a rebuttal, and keep that friendship together?
This time of year is so crucial. For my family and I, we celebrate Christmas. The birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said to love your enemies. To bless those who curse you. (Matthew 5:44) This is so contrary to society and it is so very hard to do. I think you see the difficulty in it, regardless of your beliefs. But let me ask you this: How hard is it to love your friends or bless those who bless you? It is easy. So why is it that we have taken to task all those who love us and bless us because we feel disgusted with America’s current political climate? Unless, of course, we now see those who were once our friends, and those who are our blood, as enemies. I fear greatly that this is how many people view it now. There is no justification for it. There is no validation, as much as you are trying to disseminate the reasons in your mind.
THERE’S NO EXCUSE
Unless you simply accept the idea that you’re a hateful person, there is no excuse to be at your worst every four years. There is no excuse for cussing someone out from the safety of your smart phone. There is no excuse for putting someone on blast because they put up a pro-Trump or pro-Clinton Facebook post. Of all the excuses you may currently be writing down on paper, on your laptop, or in your head, none of them work.
If you really think you are right in your opinions, then conduct yourself accordingly. Not with the self-righteous slander of those who see FOX News as fair and balanced or those who view CNN as a beacon of truth. Maybe this scripture will help you whenever you think you are so right. “Let God be true and every man a liar.” Romans 3:4.
We, as a nation, are divided enough. The friendships that are still alive, please keep alive. Have those conversations about why Trump this and Clinton that. Why Conservative this and Liberal that. But have a conversation, not a screaming match. Don’t pull out the swords and try to cut each other down. Sheath the sword (your tongue) and speak peaceably.
2016 has brought the worst out in us. How about we stop that now, and begin to pursue our best this coming 2017?