It feels like every time I get on Social Media there is something new to disagree with. Things seem very divisive right now. It is hard to know what to believe and who is telling the truth. Besides so much being thrown at us is opinion and “facts” seem to change constantly. I am not going to discuss whether we should all wear masks or not, whether we should be opening things back up or not, or who is really responsible for the Coronavirus Pandemic. I want to speak to the disrespectful and unhealthy communication that is sometimes displayed on social media.
What really frustrates me and saddens me is how quick we all are to attack one another. First, I have got to be honest, I don’t know anyone whose opinion or beliefs have totally changed after being berated, chastised, and/or called names on social media. I think this crisis and all that comes with it brings an amazing opportunity. It comes with the opportunity to work on learning to disagree with others and still be respectful and kind. We are all stressed. We are all feeling varying levels of uncertainty.
We all come from different backgrounds and are affected by this pandemic in differing ways. I am a small business owner and have the opportunity to still run my business from home. Others do not have that luxury. I also have a family member who has COVID-19 and is hospitalized. Some people have compromised immune systems and are at a higher risk. There are people struggling with very difficult decisions regarding their health, safety, and financial wellbeing. So many factors have to be weighed when making decisions right now. Many of these factors are very personal and unique to each individual.
What I encourage everyone to do is to take a step back and be willing to entertain the idea that the right decision for you may not be the right decision for someone else. It is completely OK to disagree with others but it can be done with respect and openness to the possibility that you can learn something from understanding their perspective. I often seek out those whose beliefs, opinions, and values differ from mine as it allows me the opportunity to grow. I have an incredible amount of respect for those who can sit across from someone with whom they disagree and have a respectful, healthy, and civil conversation. I encourage us all to look on others with compassion and kindness.