So the last thing you may want to read is another article, post, blog meme, tweet, headline, status about Trump, right? BUT WAIT!
Before you ignore, hide, sigh, cancel or avoid social media, I wonder if you’ll do something for me…
Ask yourself really why avoidance is sometimes our first reaction to “bad” news.
I’m hearing a lot of people talking about cancelling their social media accounts lately, at least for the time being.
Is this you?
Do you feel like it’s all just too negative? Too heavy?
Do you maybe feel like you don’t know enough about politics or the situation to actually comment?
Are you sick of how all this news makes you feel (helpless, vulnerable, angry)?
When Trump was elected, I tried to stay positive, saying that maybe this will help us wake up to many problems. Looking back, this may have been a little too light-hearted as far as approaches to politics go, especially now that we’re faced with executive orders that fill us with a whole range of mostly intense emotions.
But the favour I ask of you is to consider what this avoidance attitude can mean for us all. If we avoid social media and try to ‘keep positive,’ what are we missing? I’m not talking about FOMO (fear of missing out), but the larger conversation of our times.
We’re being asked to really examine our thoughts on race and religion in particular. Can we afford to ignore what we might really be thinking, feeling or the ugly side of what we’ve been conditioned to believe?
Is there a reason Trump’s comments and actions create a stir in us?
Is something being reflected back?
I have no political background. I’d even go as far as saying it’s scary how little I really know about politics and I’m Canadian. But I still have an opinion.
And it’s this.
In the last election, Americans were faced with deciding between 2 less than desirable options. And instead of making a choice, many chose to avoid and not vote at all – in fact, around 95 million voters did not cast a vote.
Even with my limited knowledge in American politics, I know there’s more to it than that. However, we can’t ignore that the votes of 95 million people would have made a difference. Maybe the same outcome, maybe not. But it would have been a different conversation in America.
But I get it.
I mean, how many times have we all been in the same place where there are hard decisions that need to be made, but we do nothing instead?
I get it. I’ve done it. It’s just easier.
But know this: taking no action, is an action. Make no mistake – you ARE making a choice; indecision is a decision.
We may not all need to take action and march and protest. Some of us do and that’s good and important; it’s such an amazing freedom we have the right to express. But there are other ways to be heard.
We can be aware of what’s happening, have an opinion, but not let it ruin our day; not let it steal our hope; not let it leak into our mood at home or work.
And if it does, let’s agree to reflect on what these feelings mean for us and not shy away from the lessons we could learn.
How do we really feel? Angry, sad, hopeless, sexist, racist?
Or, it may be making us question the role of leadership completely. Who we choose to follow says a lot about us. We’re saying that we like where this leader is taking us and we share that vision.
But when we question certain decisions made by our leader, our own identity comes into question. And that can be uncomfortable. And that makes us want to hide.
If it’s all getting to be too much, take a time out. Sometimes we really nee a break from it all. But use some of that time for reflection. Get your opinions sorted, without the help of the media.
You may also find you become more reflective in other areas, or more decisive from now on. You can let the lessons from all of this leak into, or even saturate all areas of your life.
The worst thing isn’t the situation that we’re in. The very worst
would be letting it all be for nothing.
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…Start the conversation indeed…
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