I’ve been thinking about all the rhetoric that has been out there lately, especially with it being the political season. I hear a lot of people saying things like “It’s scary to be a (pick your people group) in the world today.”
I have read a news story of these things happening throughout the month. Here’s what it’s scary to be…
It’s scary to be a black person at the hand of a racist cop
It’s scary to be an honorable cop at the hand of a violent person who is angry at the police
It’s scary to be a white person at the hand of a racist black person
It’s scary to be a woman at the hand of male rapist
It’s scary to be an honorable man at the hand of a vengeful feminist
It’s scary to be a Christian at the hand of someone who hates you just because you are a Christian.
It’s scary to be a homosexual at the hand of someone who is a bigot (Let’s remember that definition of bigotry is someone who does not tolerate you even though they may disagree with you. Just disagreement does not equal bigotry.)
It’s scary to be a refugee in a world where people would rather spend time on social media talking about their faith, than sending you shoes, food, and welcoming you into their home.
Let’s remember that there are bad eggs and people who make bad choices all over the world. Unfortunately, those people are the ones that get the most press. Not all cops are racist, not all Christians are bigots (and if they are, they are doing it wrong), not all men are sexual abusers. Let’s stop lumping everyone into one category and asking how we can be a part of world change instead. Here are some ideas about how to start.
1. We need to not be any of these negative extremes. We need to not be a bigot, a racist, a vengeful feminist (this is someone who desires to emasculate men), we need to not hate someone just because of their faith.
2. We need to love the people in our lives well. Spend 30 minutes less time on social media a day and use that time to spend quality with a loved one, write a letter telling someone that you care about them, write your spouse a love letter, or catch up on the phone with an old friend.
3. We can’t change the whole world today, but we can change one life today. You can invite that elderly neighbor over for dinner, send shoes to the Syrian refugees, sponsor a child, cook dinner for someone, or simply write someone an encouragement note.
4. Be open to how you can help. Every day. I’ve started spending the morning praying for opportunities to be a servant each and every day. The Lord has met me there.
5. Don’t make comments on social media articles. Sometimes I will find myself reading the negative comments on social media articles for 30 minutes and wondering where the time went. None of the comments change anyone’s mind. Most of the time the comments are just adding to the hatred that people already have.
If you really want to solve the problem, start with not being the problem. It’s easy to get caught up in “being right” that we forget what really matters. I am just as guilty at this as anyone else. Let’s make a pledge to change that today.