I have friends.
All kinds. Many of them came along long before social media, but I now interact with them on social media, too. Others I met on social media and then became “live” friends at networking events or fundraisers. Some are clients. Some are long lost relatives that you usually only see at funerals and weddings. Some are folks I’ve met because we share a common interest of some sort. Some think exactly like I do. Some don’t.
And guess what? No one is “exactly” like me. Or you. My friends vary by sex, gender, color, religious beliefs, political disposition, age, occupation, geographic location and more. Hallelujah!
I don’t like when others judge me. And I try not to judge others. I want to learn from those who think differently than I do. I want to try foods that are foreign to me. I want to understand what challenges face those who have different experiences than I have had.
What requirement do I have of you? What promise will I make to you? KINDNESS. I will listen because I want to learn, not because I want you to finish quickly so I can tell you what I think. I want the same in return. I want to be direct and honest with you if I have something to share, not go behind your back. I expect the same from you. I want to always assume the BEST about you, not the worst. I hope for the same courtesy.
Do I “filter” what I put on my social media accounts. I guess I do. I never thought about it too much. But this week, someone made a comment to me about my “Facebook” posts. This local business woman, who I respect tremendously, told me she truly appreciated reading my posts because they were never “one sided” or pushing anything about any particular political candidates. She said they were always positive and upbeat. It made me smile.
I’ll be dead honest. I’ve read a lot of great political and social posts that are illuminating or entertaining. Did I share them? Nope. Why? Because I am concerned that they will be misunderstood. With the current heated political climate, it seems that by posting anything other than pictures of kittens and weather reports, at least half the folks reading it will go from zero to rabid in less than 3 seconds. But it is also unfortunate, because I know that when I’ve learned something from a video or an article, I want to share it.
This makes me sad. As my feed passes by me, I see things with which I may not agree. I see things that surprise me. Some even stun me. I still read most of them. Other times I will just scroll on by to the next one. But I respect my “friends” and their opinions. And I will always support their right to have an opinion, whether it matches mine or not. And that is something I would also appreciate in return.