When I read newspaper articles or posts made on social media, I become overwhelmed. There is so much going on in the world around us. I do not understand the ugliness that seems to have become the norm. We’ve just finished the mid-term elections. I’ve seen this meme posted several times:
Today was the first time I saw someone take issue with it, however. I have to admit, I kind of understand from where the person’s angst arises. Within relationships, we find things in common. On the flip side, if I’m supporting something that is harmful to you or your family, we are probably not going to remain friends. I understand that. I can even accept that. But, does that mean we have to agree on EVERYTHING! If so, I’m in trouble. And that’s when I begin to feel overwhelmed. How can I make it in a world when I’m going to find differences with everyone? Am I doomed? I can feel the panic rising as I type.
I have mixed feelings about a lot of issues. And, I feel strongly about some issues as well. As I have progressed in this life, I have become more conservative in my views. Well, I don’t know that I’ve become more conservative, I’ve just been more willing to voice my opinions on some matters.
- I’m not a feminist, but I do support women in the workplace.
- I think all people deserve to be protected regardless of their race, personal partner choices or beliefs. But, I don’t think any of these categories should make one group more important or relevant over any other group.
- I am right to life. I do not support abortion as a form of birth control. I believe we need to step up and understand the responsibilities and consequences that come as a result of the “free love” agenda our society teaches. We have to find a better way to support the mothers in finding homes with loving families.
- I believe ALL lives matter. There are bad people of every color, race and sex. As the Jackson 5 song said “One bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch”. We have to stop teaching hate to people.
- I don’t support socialized government. Nothing is free. Ever.
As I consider all of the angst and hatefulness that has occur in the just the past year both locally and nationally, I am prone to think “Do I really matter? Is there anything that I can do to make a difference in the world? Do I have the right to make decisions based on my own values without being judged?”
I can’t change what happens anywhere but where I choose to plant myself. In the Houston area, we saw amazing things happen after Hurricane Harvey. People worked together and made a huge difference in the lives of others. We saw all kinds of people unite, not because their ideals or beliefs matched. They united because there was a need and that was what needed to be accomplished.
I can make a difference in my country and my city. I can vote my conscience. I can be part of the community by caring about the needs of my neighbors. I can make myself aware of what should to be changed and support the good that is being done in and around me without throwing stones (or arrows.) I need to be an accomplice of change, not any ally. An accomplice is one who acknowledges there is a problem and then commits to stand in the gap without hope or expectation of reward. An ally is passive; an accomplice is active.
I can make a difference in my home. I can teach my children and my grandchildren. my belief system as well as my own views. And, then decide love and support them as they develop their own path. My adult children haven’t made the same choices that I did or that I would have preferred in some cases. However, I am only responsible for teaching, guiding and loving them. The consequences of their choices, good and bad, are totally on them. I will not “disown” family members for taking a different stand than my own. (I’ve seen it done. It doesn’t work!)
I can make a difference in myself. I can expand my horizons by reading and considering the views and opinions of others. I can stay centered and calm in the midst of the chaos of life, taking only “small bites” as I can along the way. I can choose to be happy and content where I am instead of chasing the “next good thing.” I can accept the consequences of my choices and refuse the guilt of not being “good enough” for others. I can trust in my God (and this is most important for me) to show me where and when and how to live this life that I have been given.
I don’t know where you stand on any of the issues, political or moral. I don’t expect to change anyone’s mind on the issues. I do, however, request you to respect my right to have my own view and opinions. I will never agree with everyone on everything. I have an inborn need to disagree on some level. Our disagreements and differences in viewpoints are what make us who we are. It’s what makes us interesting instead of boring. What do you think? Can you make a difference?
Do I really matter to you?
If you reason with an arrogant cynic, you’ll get slapped in the face;
confront bad behavior and get a kick in the shins.
So don’t waste your time on a scoffer;
all you’ll get for your pains is abuse.
But if you correct those who care about life,
that’s different—they’ll love you for it!
Save your breath for the wise—they’ll be wiser for it;
tell good people what you know—they’ll profit from it.
Skilled living gets its start in the Fear-of-God,
insight into life from knowing a Holy God.
It’s through me, Lady Wisdom, that your life deepens,
and the years of your life ripen.
Live wisely and wisdom will permeate your life;
mock life and life will mock you.
Proverbs 9:10-12 MSG