It seems like everywhere I turn, there’s bad news. Sad news. Some news this year hit close to home, while other tragic headlines come from so far away — both in location and in comprehension.
As a country, we have struggled through a volatile presidential election. One that tore apart families and alienated friends. Anger bubbled to the surface and poured out onto Facebook Pages. People “unfriended” each other and tempers flared. It was craziness. Negative, destructive – craziness.
We live in such a weird time – this time where the word “unfriend” is a thing. Can you imagine saying that out loud to a friend who disagreed with you when you were on the playground. “I can’t believe you think the Backstreet Boys are the best. Obviously New Kids on the Block should win. I really can’t believe you! I’m unfriending you.”
Imagine the scene, really. It’s kinda … well … stupid.
Putting all the shitty election shit aside, we would all agree that there are bad things happening in the world – really bad things — and if you spend too much time absorbing the images, the videos and the stories, well, I think it can suck the life out of you pretty fast.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should stick our heads in the sand and pretend everyone is holding hands around a campfire singing Kumbaya all day long. There’s a ton of horrific stuff going on. The kind of stuff that makes us feel so helpless and pissed off that our hearts hurt. The kind of stuff we can’t even imagine.
Obviously we can’t ignore it, and we shouldn’t ignore it, but some days, when I sit down with my cup of hot tea, and think about my day, I just want to hear and read and see something good.
If you look at my sister’s Facebook feed, you’ll see mostly inspirational quotes. Be grateful. Be kind. She told me she gets something out of sharing that stuff, and hopes the words will remind others that there is hope. Life is gift.
And I can always count on my friend Lisa to post something on Facebook that inspires me or makes me laugh. This week, it was both with these two videos:
Facebook has become more than a place to share family photos and holiday recipes, it’s the place where many of us get our news. And that’s great. It’s easy. You log in, and everything you want to know is there. But the reality is: EVERYTHING IS THERE. And, let’s be honest, some of it is sensationalized to feed more LIKES and SHARES.
So, the point of this post, I guess–without getting so far off track with my love/hate relationship with Facebook — is that it’s so important to remember good stuff happens too. Yes, Facebook is a public forum, filled with both good news and bad news. My hope is that there is always a balance of good stuff to soften the blows of all the bad stuff. Because there IS so many good stuff happening. Good people doing good things. And if seeing the bad stuff makes us squirm, I hope seeing the good stuff makes us think of what we can do to make the bad stuff better.
This time of year is tough for so many, and as my friend Colleen so eloquently wrote in her recent post, “We are not alone if we reach out. Hold someone’s hand today. Look into someone’s eyes. Hug a little longer than usual. Be the light to someone’s darkness.”
I second that. Let’s try to focus on the good. Be the good. Together we can help to dim the darkness.