Saturday, February 20, 2016

Just stop and love #100ThankfulWeeks

I keep telling myself to stop looking at the news, to stop watching political commentary shows, and to stop sharing what I find on Facebook. Everything I see and read triggers a response within me. I just want to speak out, to explain why I agree or disagree. And then I just want to share my opinion with as many people as I can. Deep down, I want to influence and change other people’s perspectives to see things the way I see things.

That deep down motivation to change other people is really why I should stop with all the news and political commentaries and Facebook sharing. I’m an imperfect human with just one perspective shaped by one life of experiences - among billions of other people with billions of other experiences. Why am I trying to change someone’s political views to match mine? Why am I trying make someone’s convictions match mine? Am I so convinced I’ve got it all figured out?

Am I infallible?

There’s only one thing I feel is absolutely true and that’s that love saved me and so my life should be devoted to love. I should put love first in all things and whatever I do or say should be motivated by love. Love, when I manage to love, is infallible.

That doesn’t make me infallible, though. It makes me one more imperfect human imperfectly loving. Which isn’t good news for my friends on Facebook because I often share before love kicks in. Most of the time, I get so perturbed by what I read or see that I short-circuit right past the love filter. I get so passionate about changing the world, love gets left behind.

This imperfect human should forget about changing the world. The world needs love, compassion, mercy, and hope far more than it needs my impassioned, imperfect perspective. And frankly, I need to grow my understanding of what it means to love far more than I need the latest in news, politics, or Facebook updates.

Other people don’t need to share my perspective. I can still go out of my way to love them. And people don’t have to agree with me for me to love them. I don’t have to first convince them my imperfect perspective is right. I can just love them, respect them, help them. So what if their political views are different? So what if their faith is different? So what if we have nothing in common? Love still overcomes the differences.

I keep having to remind of myself that love is what will change the world. Not me. Not my ideas. Without love, me and my ideas will come to nothing. So I can quit entangling myself in disagreements, quit obsessing over news, politics, and Facebook. I can stop trying to make everyone agree with me. I can stop feeling hurt when others disagree with me. I can quit ridiculing political candidates and shaming political viewpoints. I can stop lobbying for a judge or lamenting a bit of legislation. I can stop all that and just get back to love. Love is it. And love’s changes to me and others is unavoidable.

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