Social media is a measure of the state of our present society. There’s a concern for the future of Facebook because of the recent posts and “unfriending” attributed to the political campaigning. I don’t doubt that at all. I remember the advice I grew up with that one should never discuss politics or religion at family gatherings. Perhaps we should move that “rule” to include Facebook friends and family.
I thought this morning how happy I am that I am no longer teaching. How in the world do teachers try to instill values in their students when ugliness runs rampant on social media? I have seen posts that bring tears to my eyes and news reports of political debates that look like classroom bullying. I will never post my political views on Facebook or elsewhere. They are my private thoughts and the candidate I choose to vote for will be decided after much prayer.
Our society needs a reality check. I’d like to pose a few questions that seem so obvious to me. Here goes:
What does perspiration or drinking water have to do with presidential qualifications? Or the application of make-up?
Why would a veteran, who has served his country, be removed from a political rally for asking a civil question? Why would he be booed by the crowd?
Why do people post derogatory ethnic slurs just because they don’t like a candidate or the President? How do we teach children not to bully when supposedly intelligent adults are doing that?
How do Christians succumb to such posting?
Is it not our duty as Christians to follow the advice of Paul so eloquently stated in Philippians 2:1-4? “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from His love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.”
We need to think more about the image we want to reflect to the children of today. How can we stop bullying when we do that very thing in our posts or laugh at the pitifully derogatory comments exchanged in debates? It’s time to remember common decency and the Golden Rule. Maybe we all need to go back to school or Sunday School. Let’s think more about love, about Jesus, about smiles and hugs, and push hate speech out of our minds and vocabulary!