As I reflect on interactions I’ve had in the past couple of days, I ask myself the question, “Is it better to speak up and share, even if I didn’t have all the facts, or is it better to not speak at all?”
We live in an age where it’s hard to wait when something happens. We’ve created a culture where first one to speak gets the worm. But the risk is that you get something wrong, and you pay for it, sometimes quite harshly.
When I posted a few days ago, I had thought long and hard about it. I had had a few important conversations with those around me. When you know that equality doesn’t follow through with it’s definition and some people have never ever experienced it, it’s difficult to remain silent.
When I make a mistake, I want to reflect on it and learn from the experience. But there’s also much learning in reflecting on the actual event and the interactions that followed.
When a new friend, who I had recently met in person, private messages me about my said post, I gain respect for that person because I know he/she cares about the conversation regardless of whether it’s seen by others.
When a friend threatens to withdrawal from the relationship on a public post, I question why that didn’t happen in private.
When a local friend texts to check in to make sure I’m OK because she has seen the amount of activity on the post, it assures me that I have people in my life who care for me, but also keep me accountable.
When there are friends that I know I can follow up with via private message and we can interact on a personal level, I appreciate their attitude.
What was the point of my initial post? It was not to threaten or be divisive. I was having an honest reaction. I got aspects of the story wrong, as I followed media coverage of the event, but there are still lingering feelings of uneasiness about the whole situation.
This post is not meant to rehash or keep throwing out thoughts. It’s for me. I share it with you as an encouragement to reflect, but also to keep learning.
As I shared with someone recently, I gain to learn from those who lived through the Civil Rights Movement in the 60’s, but it’s also important to acknowledge that younger generations are living through our own crisis of inequality in today’s America.
- We live in a place where the color of your skin still qualifies how you are treated and it’s not equally.
- We live in a place where a red hat with a campaign slogan causes big reactions out of many people and confusion from others and it’s hard to communicate with each other about the triggers and fear.
- We live in a time where there’s value in face to face conversations as well as ones with our friends across time zones through social media.
- Unlearning is as important as learning as we look at our own bias and how it impacts those around us.
I’m humbled by God’s grace and thankful for his mercy when I’ve sinned against a brother or sister, because I know that I’ve sinned against Him.
But I’m also confused. How did we get to a space where as Christian brothers and sisters we are willing to call each other out with so much disrespect? We should be listening to one another, but instead we throw out info from other sources instead of from our own hearts. And I am guilty as charged just like so many others.
I continue to think through and do my best to live out the verse I selected for 2019. I did not realize how much I would be turning to it in the early days of this new year.