I’ll say this as nicely and diplomatically as I can. But does every little thing always have to be a crisis? Of course there are those who feed off of stirring up trouble, but it seems to me that many people today are just more reactive than responsive. They react without really listening or thinking through. Things quickly escalate and needlessly get blown out of proportion. Take the Starbucks red cup controversy as a recent example. I may even address that one further in another post.
For what it’s worth, my family and friends consist of all different races, beliefs, gender, sexual orientation, backgrounds, nationalities, opinions, political stances, pros and cons, interests, and abilities. Note that I still called them family and friends. My relationship with them isn’t defined by those things, but rather by a common respect and recognition that we are each unique and precious and have individual value. And I’d give my life for any one of them.
We’re also not clones of each other, so we have differences. Some are simple like maturity, preferences, tastes, etc. Some are more dynamic, like spiritual, ethnic, and cultural. These differences make us unique but don’t de facto have to make us enemies. Do they affect our relationships? Sure! But they provide opportunities to get to know each other better and develop special relationships and understandings. I might not condone or participate in everything others do, but I won’t disown them because of it. I just pray a little harder, since many things are a heart issue beyond my personal reach. I may fear some of them will step into harm, so I might tackle them trying to save them from getting hit by a bus. My motive is at least pure, and it’s only out of love with care and respect that I point out my concerns. I expect and receive nothing less from them as well. That’s a relationship.
Again, many things get taken out of context these days, and one person’s opinion can so easily be projected onto other people, things, agencies, and movements and exploded into a crisis if someone else disagrees. But disagreement doesn’t equal hate. I will say that again. Disagreement doesn’t equal hate. Sadly, it is so quickly thrown around that a difference of opinion or viewpoint automatically means hatred, which is really kind of a hateful thing to do and immediately closes chances of discussion. We need to make sure of what is actually said and done and how much it really matters before giving it even more attention and credence. But the sacred right of individuals to have their own opinions is paramount to the opinions themselves.
Truth exists whether it’s believed or not, but it can be compromised and taken to extremes. Those extremes can mar and blur the very truth they represent. Because of that I sometimes poke fun at things even if I’m favorable to them just for a reality check. At some point somebody has to point out that “the emperor has no clothes”. I can laugh at things on both sides of the fence because stupid things are stupid things regardless, and laughing is a lot more fun than complaining. I can even laugh at myself. Sometimes I say or do something just to try to get a reaction, and I’ll tease about our differences. But it’s not meant to offend, only to keep it light and friendly, and I hope others can share the humor in it and move on.
There are certainly causes worth dying for, but that’s not to be taken lightly. People are quick to react and get riled up and offended over things without thoroughly evaluating the impact of their actions. We all have imperfections and probably need to do more listening than talking. More things are caught than taught, and we must beware the example we set. Truth is more easily accepted when it’s seen in action than shoved down somebody’s throat.
I encourage you to evaluate closely what really matters in life and what defines you. Try to see where other people are coming from and if they’re even able to hear what you have to say. A hungry person is hard to talk to until after a meal, and a hurting person may need a bandage or a hug before a deep discussion. Then when you find a good cause, take appropriate action. There’s a lot of bad in the world. Let’s do some good.
And if you don’t agree with me, so help me, I’ll…let you buy me coffee and explain your thoughts. 😜