Not to act rashly or to cling obstinately to one’s opinion, not to believe everything people say or to spread abroad the gossip one has heard, is great wisdom.
Thomas a Kempis, The Imitation of Christ, Chapter 4
Friends, let’s do better on social media this year.
Be willing to listen to opposing views. Try to understand where people are coming from. I’m not saying we need to give every point of view equal validity. Let’s face it, some views are just wrong. So, yeah, that white supremacist dude from high school that spends most of his time “doing his research” on Parler and quoting QAnon, shut him down quick, but your Republican aunt who is genuinely concerned because she listens to a lot of stuff about the “radical left” that scares her, maybe show her some grace.
I think we’ve forgotten this in the last several years, but it’s okay to disagree. It’s okay for people to be wrong in their opinions. What’s not okay is being a jackass, no matter where you are coming from. Shouting into the void doesn’t do anything for productive conversations.
If you’re about to share the hyper-political meme that further entrenches your point of view, maybe stop and see if it’s true first. It’s not that hard to do a search these days. Spreading that kind of disinformation is no different than spreading “abroad the gossip one has heard”.
So, let’s commit ourselves to “great wisdom” this year. What do you say?