A belated Happy New Year to you all. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for a fresh start. 2017 was a difficult year for me and, from what I can tell, for a lot of people. But we are in a new year, and I want to issue a challenge.
Let’s be kind to one another.
In the past year, I saw a number of positive campaigns that lost their allure (for me) due hatred and unkindness. The Women’s March, the #metoo campaign, a change in leadership (I know, many don’t see this as positive…but, there are a whole lot of people who do), and even a spike in the acknowledgement of how domestic violence affects our society as a whole. I won’t get into the specific reasons these things lost their allure, but the common link is a mentality of “I’m right and you’re wrong.” It seems there are a number of people in our world that use their platform and power (politicians, Hollywood elite, publishers, news sources, etc.) to attack those who do not agree with their position.
Social media has taken this to an entirely new level. Anyone can post, share, or record with the push of a button. Few are fact checking, reviewing, or even considering how their actions affect the larger audience. It has become a simple way to say and do things you would never say or do in public.
Sadly, we are a little over a week into the new year, and I see no signs of this changing. In my humble opinion, it must! As a people, we are ripping each other apart. It almost seems as if people have forgotten how to have an opinion on something without attacking those who think differently.
I woke up this morning to the Golden Globe news, followed by the articles attacking the men who didn’t speak up.
Then there was the meme claiming that the hippie chick won’t eat eggs because they are baby chickens but defends her right to abortion. Seriously?
Let’s not forget the onslaught against President Trump or against those who oppose him. Can we, as humans, find more disgusting ways to share our political opinions. Just an FYI, you’re children see this stuff.
And I can go on and on about situations where individuals have been attacked for doing or saying something that offends someone. If the right individuals are offended, the bandwagon leaves the station and everyone jumps on board, forgetting that those they attack have stories, lives, and feelings. They become fodder for the talking heads and content for the bloggers. What is more disturbing is what is said. So many have completely removed the human element. I venture to guess that even they would feel bad attacking someone, to that degree, face to face.
Beyond the national news, there are the actions that strike closer to home. A guy I know claimed to be sexually assaulted by women in public. He was chastised, called a troll, and attacked by the very same men and women who pride themselves as being feminists.
How does this help any situation or promote healthy relationships in our society? What has happened to compassion and kindness, sympathy, or simple common decency?
We don’t have to continue down this path, however. If we each take responsibility for our own words and actions, we can change the tide to one that is more positive and loving. We can show others, through our actions, support and love in trying times. Instead of tearing down people who do not agree with us, we an show compassion and try to understand why they see the world the way they do.
You can agree to disagree and still show love. That is how we will come together and create change. Forcing an opinion, emotionally destroying an individual, or speaking out of turn does nothing buy incite hatred and division.
So, this is my challenge to you. Let’s simply be kind to one another.