Social media is sometimes the cruelest of places. A real face to face not on my Facebook “friend” list and I were having a conversation just yesterday about what gets said in any social media forum. His suggestion was that if a person were to take the very same words that are said on the internet, and spoke them in front of a crowd of people, there would be much more grace, forgiveness, and effort put forth to hear and understand. I respect his opinion much more because of what he teaches at post secondary level.

Cruel words come quick. Personal attacks happen in an instant. And I admit that sometimes, if spoken to me, I’ve been able to “turn the other cheek”, and sometimes I have not been as magnanimous as I would like to think I am. Man it can get personal quick! Instead of being a forum where challenges of ideas are welcomed, these “interaction” spaces have become minefields. And sometimes they done get blowed up real good.

I said it earlier, listening seems to be a problem. For that matter, graciousness and forgiveness seem to be a problem. It’s a common line that we wait to interrupt and speak our piece instead of listening to what’s being said. We have come to the point where we will only hear what we already are in agreement with. There may be a few exceptions to this, but usually they are the “friends” that don’t say much of anything on any topic. Probably the smartest of us all.

I’ve never seen any of my Canadian “friends” be even half as passionate about the Canadian election as I saw some get about the American election. And that’s most of what almost everyone is talking about. And it’s caused some grief. I miscalculated people’s stake in a foreign election. Especially since this country doesn’t seem to get near as passionate for our own politics. Maybe we have the same kind of issues here and they will come to the surface now that our neighbors showed us the way. If anyone is still reading this, there may be some cringing at the thought. The fight has the potential to divide us too. What are you willing to “let slide”, and what will you possibly be willing to fight for? Even if your “fight” was as quiet as the act of choosing and secluded in a voting booth?

I can only imagine the thoughts in the voters mind with the choices presented to them. The issues that the media have made that choice about before and since could not have been the issues that many were voting on, or the pundits would have been able to call it. Although the racists and bigots have come out of the woodwork, emboldened on the one side, the arrogant progressives have had entitled crybabies come out of their ranks doing their worst as well. SOME on both sides have their rivals painting with broad brush strokes, but that’s the fools way out of the discussion. The media seems to be doing its best to keep those narratives going. What purpose that serves I’m not sure.

I still feel like talking about this, and if you choose to see things differently, well then welcome to the discussion. But if your waiting to interrupt and or respond instead of discuss and listen and you turn to unfounded insinuation or personally degrading me or anyone else, I can’t guarantee that I will be able to overlook it. I may say something back.

And if you’ve made it this far, I would like to say that I sincerely didn’t intend to come across as arrogant or self centered by sharing my own personal story since I experienced this stroke. I got accused of trying to make myself sound wise and insightful in what I share, as though I am better than others. And I didn’t intend that if that’s the way it’s been coming across. I do intend to keep sharing, if not for any other reason than since I started many of you have encouraged me to do so.

I still love the lot of you, and forgive me as I learn to navigate this openness in this format. Blessings.