Bless Them. Change Me.

LiveAGreatStoryToday I found myself annoyed. That’s not surprising; I’m a professional.

I was annoyed with everyone’s favorite online punching bag: Facebook. More specifically, I was annoyed with the political bantering (especially that with which I did not agree), particularly from people who’ve shown a tendency to habitually post things intolerant toward certain groups of people – groups that, in my self-righteous opinion, these online vocalizers do not know on a personal level. My opinion is that these people watch too much TV and listen too much to people who look and think and act like them. The vocalizers never leave their own cultural shell, my belief says. They are ignorant, fearful, and therefore … hateful.

Whoa.

First of all, it’s Facebook. I’ve loved Facebook for the fact it’s kept me connected to people with whom I otherwise would’ve lost touch long ago. There are things that make me laugh. People share positive news and photos of their kids and reminders of things from years back. And yet … instead, I’m focused on a minority of people who express opinions I find disagreeable.

Really?

I am solely responsible for my state of mind and the emotions I feel. Nobody controls that but me, though I’ve had a long habit of giving up that control to other people – and there’s nobody else to blame for that. Outwardly, we are reflections of our inside selves. So if I find someone else’s opinion inferior to my own … if I have to dwell on how much better I am than someone else … if I have to put someone down to feel better about myself … what’s that saying about my inner spiritual condition?

Just for today I’m making a pledge to enjoy the POSITIVE parts of Facebook (cat photos, long-lost connections), and put aside the things I don’t like.

And if you find yourself struggling with the same, might I make a suggestion? Two of Facebook’s greatest features, IMO: “Unfollow.” “Restricted List.” (I might be working on setting emotional boundaries, but I don’t have to put myself out there to be bombarded with negativity either.)

And of course, when I find myself not in agreement with someone’s opinions or actions, I’ll remember this simple prayer: “Bless them. Change me.”

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Andrew Hines

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