Thursday, January 15, 2015
To Like or Not to Like
On Facebook and Twitter, we "collect" friends and followers, even though we may never really speak to or connect with said friends and followers. We just "like" or repost photos and stories and statuses. Or retweet things we think are interesting. Sometimes we post photos in the hopes that they will draw a lot of attention and get lots of "likes" and/or comments. Then we'll feel liked, right?
But is there any real connection?
It's really just a popularity contest. We can choose the "friend of the day" like a person chooses a flavor of ice cream. We also can judge people by what they post. Sometimes, posts even cause feelings of inadequacy and jealousy, most of us forgetting that we can choose to do some of the same things we see or read about -- watch the same movies, read the same books, visit the same restaurants and cafes, save to travel to the same places, be the same patient/loving mother we think our friends are.
It just takes more effort (and money) for some.
Do you remember as a child being in a group of friends and seeing the "odd" girl hanging out on the fringe? Sometimes she was reading a book. Sometimes she was playing by herself. Sometimes she was standing, longing to be included. Do you remember feeling sad for her but hoping that someone else would invite her to join in? Do you remember when you became that "odd" girl and suddenly you understood just how lonely it felt to be on the outside edge of the circle? It made you promise yourself that if you ever made it back into the circle that you would always include any girls on the fringe.
What causes people to pick and choose who they like and don't like? Why do we separate into groups, causing others to feel on the outer edge? It takes effort to include everyone. It takes thought.
Sure, we're only human. We can't do everything perfectly, and sometimes we're going to forget to show the kindnesses that we've been shown. But when we do think of others -- include others -- we're doing something different...and we're showing God's love. Two good things.
We can't really choose to like or not like someone. Well, we can...but should we? In a world filled with loneliness and hopelessness, let's try harder to be a friend to everyone.
It'll be worth the effort.