There is old wisdom that says that if you are aren’t part of the solution, you are part of the problem. In this case, the problem is the horrific divide among people. Some of it has been building for years and our sharp divisions are just now spilling over, triggered by the last election. Please note I am not discussing the actual problems we need to resolve, but the way in which we treat one another over them.
The emotional climate in the United States and in social media has been dispiriting. Anger, fear, and resentment rule the day. News reports and commentary from every end of the political spectrum flood the airwaves. The news has been so bleak that none of us—myself included—are immune. Opinions abound and many of us find ourselves on opposing sides from people we have known and loved for many years. There is a serious danger we will turn on each other rather than the figures in power who are fueling our problems. Faith and dearly held values are being challenged.
In the midst of this chaos we have to move forward and attempt to be part of constructive solutions. I can manage only myself in this, but I have made some resolutions:
- I will pray.
- I will avoid posting politics in social media. The very nature of it means complex ideas often get reduced to slogans, or worse emotional outbursts. Even when we agree with what is being said slogans and outbursts are dispiriting. Folks have had enough of it.
- I will send my opinions to elected officials instead, even if it means I have to call or email daily. I have one of my senators on speed dial.
- I will, however, speak up in the face of injustice. I won’t let fear of conflict silence me, but, when I do, I will review gospel values, choose my words carefully, and restrict my comments to specific issues and policies.
- I will behave with compassion and look for practical ways to improve situations that grieve me.
- I will refuse to attack anyone, even politicians I loathe, and certainly not individuals I disagree with. My first responsibility as Christian is to love my enemies.
- I will try to insert humor and inspiration into my dealings with people as much as I can.
- I will continue to write and promote romance as a soothing antidote to my reader’s ragged nerves.
- I will keep busy.
Please note that there are things I won’t tolerate, even coming from people with whom I sympathize: name calling, emotional rants (generally in all caps), or personal attacks of any kind, especially ones full of “they this’ “they said” and “they that.” I will ignore what I can and unfriend/unsubscribe/unfollow where I have to.
I have a manuscript due to my editor this week. I don’t have time for that nonsense. But first, coffee.