Saturday, July 09, 2016

Making a Difference

If you are a follower of social media (and who among us isn't to some degree?) then your feeds have been full of terrible news, judgmental memes, bigoted stories, and political garbage in the past days.

I have read a few of the articles, "liked" a few of the posts, and ignored most of the politics. But in the end, one still has to ask, "How can I make a difference?"

I've come to believe that Facebook posts do little to change minds and usually just raise anger, arguments, and animosity. I'm pretty sure that the same can be said for blogs like this one. Over the years (10 in just a couple of weeks!), I've lost a good number of followers due to disagreeable posts.
I suppose that's okay. I've come to the conclusion that my writing is for me and don't really expect it to change anyone's mind.

Mostly, we read to affirm our positions rather than to educate ourselves and change our opinions. Eventually, our feeds are full of people that we tend to agree with and free of the people that we don't agree with.
The problem with that is -- nothing changes.

Not being much different than others, I have also stop following many people.
Oh I have a fair share of people that disagree with me over a fair share of topics, but I have stopped following the ones that continue to post hateful, hurtful, or just plain stupid things that tend to place people into large categories of people that are easy to dismiss as irrelevant.

So, back to my question...
"How can I make a difference?"

I'm going to really try to stop using labels that generalize and start listening to people.
I know that I don't fit very neatly into most labels. I must assume that others don't, either. If you've not been reading Out of My Hat for very long, here is a post that talks about my conflicting labels. It includes links to several other "selfie" posts.
When I can (not on Facebook), I will engage people and ask for explanations on how they came to their point of view. I may even challenge them about their sources or information, but I'll try not to argue with them. I will try to learn from them and I need to be open minded enough to change my way of thinking, if the information warrants it.

If asked, I'll give information on how and why I have my perspectives.
Realizing that most people are looking for affirmation of their positions and not looking for debate or a conversion experience, I'll go slowly until I can make a better judgment of the conversation. I'd rather give them an easy out than get into a pointless argument.

And I'm going to encourage people to hate less and to love more.

Let me ask you a question --
"How can you make a difference?"

Feel free to share your answer in the comments.

John <><


eViL pOp TaRt said...

One way I can make a difference is by speaking softly and leaving the stick at home. Also, be awry of stereotypes and see them as the product of lazy thinking. Be a peacemaker, not a hatemonger.

John Hill said...

Good for you, Angel!

Mike said...

"a pointless argument"

There are way to many of those going on these days.