I have read some interesting and troubling stuff this week on news sites. I made the mistake of watching a few news programs and reading on line. And it has made me want to retreat once again away others because it seems that there is zero tolerance for those who are different. Sad, isn't it--how little the feelings of others matter. I am appalled at how mean people can be, especially when hiding behind a computer. Sadly, I am getting to the point that I would rather not be around anyone who is intolerant. I guess that makes me intolerant of intolerance! I like to think of it as discernment though.
It seems though that everyone feels "entitled". People have an opinion and are entitled to express their opinion, even when it is cruel and hurtful. I have opinions, but I do my best to have balance in how I express them. I remember that keeping my mouth shut can be a valuable thing to do. Entitlement seems to one of the catch phrases of today-- I am entitled to express an opinion, I am entitled to practice freedom of speech. All true, but sometimes it is best to consider and measure my words so that I don't do damage to others. THINK is a good program acronym--is what I am saying thoughtful, helpful, intelligent, necessary and kind?
I find that social media is all about airing private things in public. No matter what we post, it is open and out there for anyone to see. It can be deeply personal or it can be neutral--yet it is still available to people, many of whom I have not met in person nor do I know that I ever will. I question doing this quite often. But isn't being on social media a little bit like watching a train wreck? We are all voyeurs in some way which is why we are here. We like to know what is going on with others. And it seems that sometimes the most comments come when someone is having a hard time.
I am not referencing us bloggers who have been communicating for years, but to those social media outlets like FB and Twitter where people seem to take a delight in hiding behind a computer to cut, bash and argue with others. My wife shows me comments from "friends" about how gays and lesbians are going to Hell because they are not following the Bible. And the trans community is most definitely damned because they have changed from God's image. Neither one of us understands this vision of a Higher Power.
I think that unless people are hurt, abused or oppressed, they can live the lives they want. I am reminded over and over of the mantra in Al-Anon that it is none of my business. I wish that others would learn to mind their own business, live and let live, and view others with compassion. That seems to be a much better way for me to keep my serenity--in addition to not watching or reading news.