Speak. Listen. Respectfully.

I’m seeing a trend of posts in my Facebook feed about people encountering hatefulness and bullying on their own feeds regarding the election. I’m in complete agreement that we need to be kind and respectful with one another, but in my personal observation, I really haven’t seen outright unkindness – bullying, name-calling, belittling – from those who agree or disagree with me personally.
Maybe I’ve got a roster of amazing friends (and I’m not denying that!)** – but I’m wondering if some people are feeling threatened by the intensity of other people’s emotions and emotive posts regarding their personal perspectives on the election, and calling grief and anger (at the state of things, not at particular people) or celebration and excitement (from those who voted for the winning candidate) hatred and bullying when that is not what they are.
I’ve always appreciated knowing people with diverse opinions, and I want to hear what they have to say. And I feel valued and respected when other people want the same from me. I also don’t feel that I need to comment on everything or try to change anyone’s mind.
So yes, please, let’s make America kind again. And let’s also be brave in voicing our opinions and listening to those of others. A well-rounded society needs both.
**And also, as in everything I have to say, I acknowledge that I speak from a mostly privileged position, with all the blind spots and lack of understanding that that inevitably entails. I also acknowledge that other people may be processing all the memes and sound bites and joking or not-so-joking or angry posts at a much more personal level, and also that some people definitely are posting things to be hateful and unkind, and others are on the receiving end of that.

4 Comments

  1. Well-said; I appreceate your perspective; I feel like the lines between “healthy communal analyzing” and “unhealthy unilateral judging” are blurry for some and downright confusing for others. Oh that we could all work toward trust-based listening, secure, non-threatening dialogue, and open, humble resolve to grow ourselves and build each other!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s