It was a promising premise. Our social networks were going to be such a great way to stay in touch with people from every nook and cranny of our lives. We could stay in contact with them all, effortlessly and all in one place. Even when it seemed weird that they were sharing photos of how well their food was plated at the Mexican restaurant down the street, we at least loved the transparency and the feeling of being connected. We craved it. We added friends to our lists like they were BOGO microwave dinners at the grocery store.
As a rule, we generally think of ourselves as nice people. We think of ourselves as being as being above average on friendliness and politeness. By all practical accounts people should like us. Our perspectives are rational and make sense to us; most people see the world from our point of view.
From a faith perspective, I grew up following the Jesus tradition and, in that pursuit, I learned about something called The Golden Rule. You know it: Do to others what you would want them to do to you. And, to be fair, it’s not like Jesus had the market cornered on this – He was just paraphrasing something that came from Judaism hundreds of years before, and they had likely picked it from some other group. As it turns out, there are versions of this idea that surface in just about every major religious practice throughout history, from Confucianism to Native American Spirituality. There might not be a more universal truth.
I heard this week that somebody called Michelle Obama an “ape in heels.” This is not the first time something like this has been said and I’m fairly certain that it won’t be the last. I will readily admit that I have an undying love for Michelle Obama and that love probably motivated me to sit and write about this, but know that I would feel the same way about any similarly egregious remarks.
You have been my proving ground. We sparred like gladiators, merciless and unrelenting, matching each other blow for blow. I was certain that you were my greatest foe and that I would feel no remorse for finishing you when I finally had the opportunity.
A few weeks ago, I was driving home through my neighborhood when I got startled by a deer on a neighbor’s front porch. I only saw it from the corner of my eye, but my heart immediately started to race…. Continue Reading →