Where Do I start

I’ve taken some time away from writing, to gather myself and my thoughts. I wonder at times, what I’m called to write about and how I continue to pursue that about which I am passionate. Honestly, the world has me wondering these things as everyday I wake up to some new horror and bad news sweeps through my Facebook newsfeed and the internet.I am in the bad habit of reaching for my phone when I wake up and immediately scrolling through Facebook. What a horrible way to start the day, first off! I went the U.S. for 3 weeks with the intention of writing in my blog just about everyday, but then I became worn down with the news coming in. First Christina Grimmie was shot in Orlando, then soon after, Islamic Terror reigned down in Orlando, and then only days later, my newsfeed was consumed with the devastating news of the toddler who was taken from his father’s arms by the ravishing jaws of an alligator. I felt it impossible to start my day well. I felt consumed by grief of the world every morning. It was affecting me. I can imagine and hope others feel the same. I worry that social media has almost made us immune to grief as we share in others’ tragedies from a distance, casting our unwanted opinions thoughtlessly and arguing with people we’ve never met.
I ask myself “what is social media doing to us all?” The truth is that accidents and tragedies and injustices have ALWAYS happened all over the world, at times worse than now and at times less than now. The great difference being that we now wake up to the horrific things daily on our phones. We are pulled into the lives of people we will never meet and I wonder what that is doing to us. The worst part for me is when I read an article, I make the stupid decision to read the comments and all my hope for humanity seem lost. It is so EASY to give our opinions and spew judgement or hate online. It feels anonymous. I hate it. The judgement towards parents suffering the unimaginable…….the sheer callousness towards those in the throws of grief…….the need for people on Facebook to seek attention through their unwanted and unneeded opinions……and the unwillingness to acknowledge the offenses given.
Along with these tragedies, there are the other big topics to read about. The US election, Brexit, Trump, Clinton, #blacklivesmatter, #alllivesmatter, LGBT activism and bias, Islamic Terrorism and the real threat we face, and so much more, are some of the things I read about each morning and throughout the day. Mostly, I’m dismayed by the opinions I read from friends and acquaintances stating opinions as fact and incredible bias against those who may not agree. ON BOTH SIDES. Positions and stands are being taken with righteous zeal. I read on a daily basis how those who would vote Trump are stupid, uninformed idiots who will cause the destruction of America. There are comparisons to Hitler even, which boggles my mind. I take offense because I know plenty of people voting that way. I read on a daily basis how those who would vote for Clinton are ignorant and corrupt and I take offense because I know plenty of people voting that way. I read from expats I know around the world during Brexit, which to ME seemed like a great thing, that anyone with that view is dumb and uninformed, and yet again I feel discouraged. Since when did we decide that those with a different opinion or belief system or worldview are less intelligent or “worldly” than us? Pulling up social media I witness how views which in the light of day may not be quite as extreme………online are given such weight.
I just am writing this because I wonder if social media does more to discourage and divide us than we think. I wonder if our opinions which may not even be solid, become fixed with what we read and see. Do we take the time to think things through and feel the world around us, or do we make snap judgements and form our minds around ideas we know nothing about, only because it is popular? Do we speak words that demean those who are our friends, that we would never utter to a face in front of us, because we feel shielded by a screen? Is hatred spewed in the name of “tolerance” and “intolerance” and what people believe those represent? Hatred towards difference is brewing and we need to take a step back. I know at times I read what friends or acquaintances write and I think, “what? how can they think that?”, but I won’t change their opinions with my opinion. Not on social media anyway. I can, we can, show love and kindness to those who see the world in a different light, and we should. I can, we can, stand up for our beliefs with love and kindness, with strength and humility. We don’t have to AGREE with someone to love them and we shouldn’t spew hatred and vitriol through a freaking computer, OR in our daily lives.
I don’t know, and I can only hope we begin to ask ourselves these questions. That we learn to understand WHY we believe what we believe and that we fight evil with good and to try to understand why others believe what they believe. May we learn discernment in our thoughts.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that.”
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31

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