I have a lot of friends. Black, White, Hispanic, Korean, Chinese. You name it, my friends are an amalgam of my life experiences. The same goes for world views. I have plenty of friends with competing world views. Christian, Atheist, Agnostic, Muslim, Mormon, Hebrew Israelite. Knowing such a diverse group of people is both a blessing and a curse.
Positively, it helps see the blind spots that one group has when engaging other groups. On the other hand, it also exposed me to a phenomenon we’ve all experienced over the past week. The “Share Because I Don’t Want To Share My Thoughts” phenomenon.
Sadly, we tend to share articles and blogs that draw lines, rather than encourage dialogue. No text commentary accompanying the share. Just a share.
It’s a “here’s where I stand” without actually saying “here’s where I stand”. And it waits. Waits for likes and comments. Waits for others to join our side. Because us vs. them is the only logical outcome.
In my experience, I’ve found that respectful, balanced conversations yield the best results. Even when we feel like we’re on the “right side of the law”, we’d do well to engage others in disarming ways. Ways that lead to true transformation and change. Don’t start with black on black crime statistics. Don’t start with racist, white pigs language. Start with genuine concern for all involved. Start with the deep, heartfelt cry of those entrusted with the “ministry of reconciliation”.
The Wrong Fuel
Hate should never fuel the “righteous indignation” bus. Gas prices are high, but hate’s cost is eternal. Justice and hate are like oil and water. Bitter rivals that duke it out. And in the end, no one wins.
So share away. Social media gives us a platform to share in a marketplace of ideas. Not everyone in the marketplace is here to buy. And that’s okay. Treat them as you’d treat yourself (I think I read that somewhere). We’ll all be better for it in these trying times.