Friday, February 3, 2017

Preaching to the Choir

It is natural to like to be surrounded by those who have the same views as you, look the same as you, and reinforce your beliefs. Heck, no one wants to be constantly antagonized for a differing opinion. When other's opinions differ from our own, we have a choices: to ignore the opinion and move on, to fight back with our own opinion or to try to engage in active listening.

I know for a fact I am awful at the latter.
I like to preach to the choir. I like to get likes on my  wise and relevant FB posts. I like to hear back from my other 30 something year old Christian Caucasian women friends that I am speaking truth. It makes me feel safe. Like I am not alone. 

When I hear a voice of dissent from what I believe I sometimes tune them out by hiding them from my news feed, maybe even defriending or blocking them. 
Think about that for a second....
What a strange little world we live in now were we actually have words like "defriend".

But what if I started to ask and actually wanted to HEAR the words from others different from ourselves, rather than just preparing my super wise response back that is sure to get them to humble themselves and follow me...Oh wait! I am supposed to humble MYSELF and FOLLOW HIM, not get others to humble themselves and follow me on FB, instagram, pinterest, twitter??!  

Dan Rather said something that I think is so powerful. I am summarizing but essentially a YUGE (in the words of our president) crowd gathered to see Trump win. A HUGE crowd also gathered to protest Trump. Instead of comparing whose crowd was bigger, realize that there are millions of us who CARE and are all trying to be heard. 

In other words: LISTEN!

Let's build off this passion to achieve our goals. As far as I can tell most times when I actually LISTEN to others I hear them say essentially the same things I am saying. 
Of course there is always those who are driven by fear and hate and nothing is going to change that except the grace of God but our job is to be the best version of ourselves and cleaning out my FB friend list until I only see statuses that another white, 30 something year old, Christian woman would write does nothing to make me a better version of myself it is just further preaching to the choir and I need to hear some different voices to be the best version of me. 

So, I get it sometimes you need a break.
You need to hide someone from your feed.
You need to leave social media for a time or forever but PLEASE stop shutting out those voices completely out of your life that make you uncomfortable or uneasy.  
The voices that make our stomachs turn are often the same voices that help our minds open and our hearts widen.