Today, we run a featured blog post by Karen Hall, a licensed psychotherapist who has a private practice in Maryland. She raises a great point about the hostile political climate in America over the past several years. It made me think. Like the best posts, it was reflective and introspective and I saw myself in her words. I think there is certainly reason to be alarmed at the direction our country is headed.
Where I disagree slightly is that I believe that being alarmed is actually showing love and how much we care – even if how it’s expressed appears to be doing the opposite. As a Christian, I think even Jesus showed righteous indignation in the temple over the injustices inflicted on the people by the temple authorities. And in Mark 3:5, Jesus was angered at the Pharisees for essentially their religiosity when he heals a leper on the Sabbath day.
In this social media paradigm, I think it’s hard to know who we are reaching sometimes with our posts. But if even one post, like the one below, causes someone to expand their mind and think differently on a topic, isn’t this the point? — Dawn Onley
By Karen Hall
It has occurred to me that there’s an inconsistency in my Facebook posts. Often I share songs about my faith, about God and His message of love. Just as often, however, I’m angrily posting facts related to the racial divide in America.
Some may question whether they know me now or whether they ever knew the real me. Well, like all living matter, I have changed some with time. I think I’m wiser and prouder and bolder in expressing my opinions.
I’ve always been a feeling person, and an analyzer and a stickler for process, and in those ways I have not changed. I’ve always abhorred dishonesty, haughtiness, bigotry, prejudice and admittedly am less tolerant of those who reflect those characteristics today. I’ve always been and continue to be turned off by people who are loud or boastful or aggressive.
My parents stressed the importance of being humble, kind, patient, responsible and respectful of others. Sadly honoring those virtues has been more difficult for me, particularly in the last two plus years. Sadly, I’ve become prey to the divide and conquer strategy modeled by our government.
I’m immensely proud of my African roots that have made me the strong woman that I am. But America is my birthplace and what it used to represent has changed. Or perhaps it’s like me in that it’s become bolder in expressing what’s at its core.
I don’t have all the answers but I know that unless we change we will self-destruct as a nation.
I know that words spoken or written in anger are less likely to be heard.
I know that finger-pointing and blame games are triggers for increased anger and acting out.
I believe that truth and facts must be presented still but that doing so with lots of commentary is counter-productive. So, I’m not deleting anything I’ve posted, but beginning today, I will make more of an effort to be truly heard.
That’s been my intention all along; I just got caught up in the new, more popular language of hate.