Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Soap Box

Typically I can let this just bother me for a few minutes and then I let it roll off (because even though I'm a control freak, I realize I cannot control everyone). . . but I've been off of social media and not watching the news for several days and hopping back into things today all at once has totally set me off and I can't just let it roll off.  So I'm blog-journaling (venting).

The amount of hate and massive over generalizations in the news and on social media is making me furious!  Seriously!  I read posts completely (like 100%) over generalizing a population or a culture or a religion or a political party or whatever and I can't stand it.  Seriously.  Until I have met every single Muslim and have had a great open conversation with him or her, then there is no way that I can make a blanket statement about Muslims.  The same goes for Christians.  The same goes about women.  The same goes about a political party.  The same goes for. . . you name it!  I don't act the way all Christians act, I don't believe all the things all Christians believe, so I cannot be (and do not want to be) lumped into an over generalization about Christians.  Again, the same is to be said about every "category" that I could be lumped in with.  So, why would I think that I can do that with another?  It seems so hateful and narrow minded and uneducated to me when I read posts that lump all of one people together.  I don't care what it is--race or religion or political affiliation or sexual orientation or wealth status or sex or whatever--when do people become all the same?  NEVER!  So how can we generalize a population so easily?  And how is that okay?  (Because not only am I reading over generalizing posts, but I'm reading the comments below the posts--are you kidding me?!?!?)  When is that ever right?  And Christians, when have we ever been taught (by Jesus, not by a pastor or another human) that doing so is okay?  I believe that we have been taught exactly the opposite--by Jesus himself!  I cannot even fathom the world today if He taught us that overgeneralizing and accusing and making false assumptions and accusations was okay. . . maybe it would actually be like living in real life Facebook world.

Second on my soap box is the way we take things SO out of context and run with it.  I say "we" because I tend to do that in a conversation (especially with Andy) in order to get my way (even if in my way is getting my feelings hurt--why do I do that).  This happens in politics so often.  We hear one sound bite that has already been taken out of context and we base all of these opinions on that.  I cannot fathom what would happen if someone took one thing I said in an entire monologue and based everything on that.  What if I was having a conversation with a group of people about termites and I said that I want to kill every single one of them--but an outsider who happened to be walking by heard only that I want to kill every single one of them, assumed that I was talking about one people group and then passed that along (like a game of telephone from grade school) and then my entire persona got built around that one phrase which was taken completely out of context by someone I was not even taking to.  Seriously?  Even elementary kids realize that "telephone" distorts the original words and meaning and yet we, as adults, do that often and form opinions (often hateful ones) based on words we didn't even hear with our own ears--or words we didn't even hear in their FULL context.  How is that okay?

So there's my soap box.  Part of it.  I don't even feel like I got my feelings down because I am so completely frustrated and blown away by the ignorance of over generalization that happens.  I'm so frustrated and blown away by the amount of hate I read based on these over generalizations and I am frustrated and blown away by how uneducated many of us (me included) remain about issues we don't understand or are fearful of.  I'm thankful for the people I have met in different cultures and different religious beliefs and in different life situations because I know that I cannot overgeneralize and be right.  There is no way that I could ever over generalization a population and be 100% right on the money about every single person in that population.  I'm thankful that I am an individual and that I am not like everyone else.  I'm not even like my husband or my children or my parents--how could I be like every single 40 year old woman or every 40 year old white person or every 40 year old Christian or every 40 year old American or every adoptive mother or every owner of a French Bulldog or. . . . whatever.  Can you imagine how boring this world would be if we were all the same?!?!?  YUCK!

I'm so thankful for the people in my life (people like my husband) who have pushed me to meet people; those who have challenged me to expand my horizons.  I'm thankful for my friends I've made in other countries, in other cultures, in other races, in other religions who have patiently shown me that my preconceptions are wrong and how the things I have learned or been "taught" do not sum up an entire population.  I'm thankful.  I hope that I get to continue to expand my world and my understanding of people groups.  I hope that I get to cross the paths of "the other" daily so that my love for people can grow and so that I can love bigger and understand more.  My prayer is that my kids will have this opportunity long into the future so that their worldview can be expanded beyond Facebook rants!  Anyway. . . there you have it!  My blog/journal/rant.  

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