While scrolling through social media recently, I've seen a lot of posts that say something like this:
"If you're voting for (insert presidential candidate of choice here), don't talk to me."
"If you say (All Lives Matter, Police Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter), go ahead and unfriend me now."
Here's the thing, people: We are never going to agree on every subject. We have to learn how to be okay with that, and even how to celebrate that.
People in my family are voting for Donald Trump. Do I want them to? Absolutely not. Am I going to stop talking to them because of it? Absolutely not.
I don't understand this rhetoric that I've seen so much of lately. I don't know about you, but I certainly don't agree with everything that my friends think. Not even my best friends. What a boring life I would have if I did. We disagree on stuff, and that is okay. If my friends expected me to agree with them on every subject, I wouldn't have any friends. One of my favorite character traits of my best friends is that they are willing to tell me when they disagree with me. They say something when they think I am wrong. They challenge me. They call me out. They question my thinking and share their opinions. And I am a better person because of it.
I understand that the presidential election and the Black Lives Matter movement are both huge subjects in this world right now, and I think that a person's opinion on those subjects says a lot about him/her. I also know, though, that we are all human. We all have different experiences that influence our thoughts, actions, and perspectives. Maybe that person posting about the bathrooms in Target has never actually met a transgender person. You are never going to know someone else's perspective if you don't ask.
So maybe instead of deleting friends and not talking to people, we should do the exact opposite.
Have conversations. Be honest. Share your experiences.
My opinions may not change from the challenging conversations I have with my friends, but the way I see the world always does. I learn a new story. I hear a perspective I had never thought of. I learn something new about a friend.
I am not saying that this is a black and white concept. Sometimes people are toxic. Sometimes people need to be deleted from your friend list because their posts cause you mental or emotional harm. Life happens. What I am saying is that if we learn how to respond out of love rather than defense, this world will be a much better place. Conversations and stories are what will open the minds of those we disagree with. Hate, hostility, and resentment will not solve anything.
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." - Martin Luther King Jr.
So, friends, today, let's talk about it. Let's listen to each other, learn from each other, and love each other like we never have before.