Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Dealing with the World

Hello Lovelies,

I have been having a hard time dealing with the world lately. It feels like everywhere I turn there is some incident that creates an upheaval from the seemingly unnecessary (Starbucks cups) to the truly tragic (the Paris attacks, the Mormon church's announcement on policy regarding children of same sex couples.)

When I was in middle school, I had to stop watching the news because I saw a story that emotionally traumatized me. I have tried to "be a good citizen" and stay informed off and on since then, but it gets so overwhelming. And now, with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +, Youtube and all the others putting even more out there all the time, I feel like I cannot turn it off.

And social media adds a whole new edge, because you aren't just getting one perspective. You see every single persons's opinion, links to other news articles, blog posts, memes, and everything out there!

I grew up LDS, left the Mormon church for my own personal reasons, and went on to study many other religions. One thing that I have found universal in religions is the teaching of loving others. Another thing I have found almost universal is separating yourselves from others. I have noticed (because as a writer, I am prone to observing the human condition.) that any time there is an us vs them situation people tend to separate using hate.

And what does that get us? More hate. Whether the separation is racial, religious, political, national, or based on gender- people tend to use hate to keep from blurring the line.

And I don't understand that, when every religion teaches love.

But maybe every religion teaches the importance of love because it is not something that comes naturally to most humans. I know that seems contrary since we are all obsessed with it, but as I watch human behavior, even the most obvious love for a child tends to go out the window when that person takes the side of Them, our love for them gets put aside as we defend our US view.

It is easy to love those who are like you. But not so much for those who aren't.

I would challenge each of you to find your Us vs Them thing. We all have at least one. I am choosing one that is affecting my family right now.

Take some time to walk in the shoes of your Them. Don't just look at them through your lens, but try to understand their lens. See their troubles, struggles, hopes, dreams, fears. Talk with them and really listen to them. Build a relationship. Practice loving them.

Does anyone else think that we can use this to combat all the negativity? Share your thoughts in the comments below!


  1. Right there with you. I am positively overwhelmed by all the hate and propagation of it wrought by the media, social or otherwise. My own father is appalled by what he perceives to be my political beliefs, when all I've said it "and you believe those lies?" That evidently translates to supporting one person over the other when I'm only searching for the truth in a very ugly political arena.

  2. Karla, I am so sorry to hear that pain! My mother (who I love very much and generally see as a reasonable person. She shaped my loving ideology!) really got into a political pundit for awhile and I remember her getting so angry every time she would watch his show. One day, she asked me about an article she saw online about the Bengahzi attack that was more conspiracy theory than actual reporting, but it had her in a tizzy (her words, not mine!) I took the time to help her recognize quality journalism and we talked about source checking and suddenly her whole view changed. When she started checking this pundit's sources she realized that he played hard and fast with the truth. That was huge for her. Now, understand, my mother is a very educated woman. She has a Master's degree, is well read, and thinks about whart she reads. Unfortunately, our world moves so fast and it is harder and harder every day to be able to "check sources" so people share what supports their world view, and disregard the rest. It makes me really sad when I see it dividing loved ones like you and your father. I have a cousin going through the same thing on social media, and have had members of my own family get angry with my expressing a view that is different from theirs. I hope you find your way to be able to see it from your dad's perspective so that perhaps you can then show him your view. Negative words like "lies" put people on the defensive very quickly.

  3. I love my dad dearly - it hasn't caused a rift between us, but it is disappointing to me to hear a man I admire and respect stand on a political platform without considering it might not be solid. It isn't worth arguing over, and I haven't corrected his belief that I've joined the dark side (my political beliefs don't lie staunchly with one party or the other). But all this misinformation is so very overwhelming!

  4. I agree, the misinformation is very overwhelming!