Birthday resolution

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This was one cake I could have and eat too

Another trip around the sun just completed. Yep, a full year has gone by and I celebrated another birthday this month. 

Sixty-some years on this planet and I can honestly say, I’ve never before in my lifetime seen so much animosity exhibited between human beings as I have in the last few years.

All the name-calling.  All the politically-charged posts on social media. All the mean-spiritedness because someone doesn’t agree with you. All the disrespect for other’s opinions. All the anger. All the rage. All the crude vulgarity. It literally makes my stomach churn.

And you know what else it does? It makes me wonder how far it’s all going to go. How horrible of a world will my grandchildren have to live in if this hatred continues?

Because call it what it is. Hatred. On both sides of the issues.

I logged in to my personal Facebook page on my birthday and my newsfeed was assaulted with sites that seemed to provoke divisiveness. Blasting comments arguing over issues that they do/don’t agree with.  It left a really bad taste in my mouth on a day I just wanted to sit back and enjoy.

The smiles and good will my FB friends meant for my birthday in the form of kind wishes and greetings posted on my wall seemed overshadowed by all the other ugliness I saw. Each time I scrolled down my newsfeed more hostility continued to affront me causing me to cringe, log out, and not return, determined to not let it ruin my birthday.

But I must get something off my chest. I’m sorry, I just cannot believe that social media, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, or whatever, is the proper place to air all your fury and wrath against this or that. And I certainly cannot see where it does any good in changing folks’ opinions. It just seems like arguing vehemently just for the sake of arguing. And really, who needs that? Doesn’t it raise your blood pressure to an unhealthy high?

Foremost, I want to ask those who do so, do you really, truly believe spouting off on social media and attacking others’ for their beliefs and opinions is going to change their minds? Seriously?

I’ve said it before and I will continue to repeat it. A verse from my Bible, spoken by Jesus, tells me that a house divided cannot stand.

“If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand.  If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand.” ~ Mark 3:24-25 New International Version (NIV)

In this same month, June, back in 1858, Abraham Lincoln used part of this scripture in his speech upon receiving the Republican candidacy for the United States Senate, a seat he lost to Stephen Douglas. At the time, according to an online article about our 16th President, even Lincoln’s law partner, William Herndon, considered Lincoln as morally courageous but politically inappropriate in using the reference in his speech. 

Lincoln is quoted as saying this about the reference: “The proposition is indisputably true … and I will deliver it as written. I want to use some universally known figure, expressed in simple language as universally known, that it may strike home to the minds of men in order to rouse them to the peril of the times.”

A house divided cannot stand. …that it may strike home to the minds of men in order to rouse them to the peril of the times. Maybe we need to take heed to those words and apply them today.

Years later, Herndon said Lincoln’s speech “did awaken the people, and despite Lincoln’s defeat, he thought the speech made him President.”

As we all know, at the time Lincoln delivered that speech, our country was headed for a Civil War, which did occur during Lincoln’s presidency. Civil War. Divisiveness against each other in our own land. Brother fighting against brother. Hatred against one another because of opinions and beliefs.  Is history repeating itself? It surely seems so on social media and on the news.

It saddens me to see a great divide in this nation. I know we are not a kingdom, but we are a country called the United States of America, and all of this in-fighting causes me to think it will be our demise.

But you know what? I realize I can’t have my cake and eat it too. So, I dismissed the ugliness for my birthday at least, and tried to enjoy the rest of my day, which I did.

However, I’ve made a kind of birthday resolution that I will not be a part of this. I’ll continue to stay out of the social media frenzy and fray.  I still have my strong beliefs and opinions and I willingly share them with those who want to have civil conversations about that, but I will not plaster my disagreement with others via Facebook or here in my blog.

Why? Not because I live in a rose-colored world where it’s all flowers, rainbows, and lollipops. Remember, I’ve been on this earth for more than 60 years now and I am a realist.

I know that what I say can be twisted and misinterpreted and cause dissension and strife. I know that what I say may cause others to react defensively and stir up anger.

Because as a believer in Christ, I do not want to cause other people to stumble.

And because my actions and words are models for my grandchildren, and I do not want to teach them to hate those who don’t sit on the same side of the playground as they do.

“Life is divided into three terms – that which was, which is, and which will be. Let us learn from the past to profit by the present, and from the present, to live better in the future.” ~ William Wordsworth

©2017 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

 

 

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15 responses

  1. Well, I’m glad you had a Happy Birthday. (Isn’t June just the best month to be born???) And you’re right about social media. I love keeping in touch with all my friends there, but it can get so annoying sometimes. I dislike confrontation so much that I rarely post anything (or make a comment) that can be construed as controversial…. It’s okay to have our strong beliefs, but as you say: we’re not going to change anyone’s opinion!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I soooo agree with you. I’ve stopped reading Comments on news articles (and even the Weather Network!), I don’t ‘do’ Facebook or Twitter, I keep my (often controversial) opinions to myself online, and I worry for my grandchildren (and those who follow them) because the world in which they are growing up is so filled with hatred and it is so pervasive on the digital platforms they are surrounded by. How do we teach them to be polite, kind and generous of spirit when so many others are flagrantly demonstrating the opposite characteristics? I will continue to be the ‘one voice’ my granddaughter can depend on to be upbeat and positive, but is it enough? I hope her generation (and those who follow) will see the futility of all this negativity and turn things around before the world implodes from its own darkness. (PS: Happy Birthday and best wishes for many, many more!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Margo, that’s exactly it; we have to be a voice for our grands and model decent civility, generous and loving spirits, and calm reason. It’s a big task in this technology driven and often crude and rude society. I’m so blessed to find those who are like-minded here in blogging. So often I feel alone thinking the way I do and I have to remember there are kind-hearted beautiful souls out there like you. Thank you for your encouraging comment!

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  3. Happy Birthday!
    I agree with your concerns with today’s society. I have almost completely discontinues TV viewing: if I’m not insulted enough by the stupidity of the commercials then I am by the news. My only social interactions now are through email or the blog, which has singularly remained free from nastiness and discontent. I’m much better off.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I hope you still had a happy birthday, friend. It’s such a good day to have a birthday! 😉 I agree with you while still being somewhat torn at times that I should speak my mind, too. Something gnaws at me that if I continue to keep silent while other voices on the other side are so vocal everywhere, a more balanced view of issues will be lost. But, I’ve never felt a calling to do so on social media but rather speak in humility with people directly. There is just something about seeing a person’s eyes and mannerisms during a conversation that makes it more real. Social media “jousts” just seem like more of a circus, and no one is effective in making any points in a way to get someone else to really think about what’s being said. Not sure if that made sense? lol Anyway, hope you had a grand birthday!

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  5. Happy, very belated, birthday my friend…just read this several days ago after a beautiful trip to see our 4th grandchild in Texas. Quite the contrast in emotions if I allow myself the temptations of being consumed by what’s happening in this country and around the world. I have been pondering your writing on this subject and didn’t want to respond without thinking about it for a bit. I too “feel” the same as you and worry and anxiety overwhelm at times. I knew if I waited a bit the Lord would answer my question about what to do with all this emotion concerning the current political climate. I was reading in Streams in the Desert this morning and came across this quote by A.E. McAdams “No one accomplishes so much in so little time as when he or she is praying. And the following thought certainly aligns well with all that the Lord Jesus Christ taught on prayer: If only ONE BELIEVER WITH TOTAL FAITH rises up, the history of the world will be changed. Will YOU be that one to rise up, submitting yourself to the sovereignty and guidance of God our Father?”
    That was totally convicting to me. What power we as believers have in our prayers, however, do I demonstrate in my prayers “TOTAL FAITH”? I will be pondering this…and trying to lessen my temptations to keep up with the gossip and hatred spewed by the political circus entertaining the masses. Thank you for your thoughts on this; it’s an important subject for believers to discuss…I suspect back in the new testiment times there were similar conversations among believers…nothing new under the sun 🌞

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, my sweet friend, first off thank you for the birthday wishes! And oh yes, how I do agree with what you said – PRAYER! Constant prayer, I do believe, is what we need to be doing. And we also must guard our hearts (and minds) not to be caught up in the world’s anger and hatred. Not an easy task, but one we are called as believers to do. I’m sure the Apostle Paul and all the others who were spreading the Gospel encountered the same temptations we do. For certain, “nothing new under the sun!”

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