I had a post last week that I deleted. This is getting to be a habit, I know, but when the first line of your post contains the words, “hate” and “everybody” perhaps it’s time to rethink things.
Can you blame me? Everywhere I turn people are going nuts. A White House adviser says Tea Partiers are like Jim Jones cultist, half of Facebook thinks Phil Robertson is being attacked unfairly, the other half thinks he’s a hater, and some poor woman made a sarcastic tweet about AIDS, jumped on a plane and when she landed 12 hours later found that she was the most-hated woman in the world.
She has been fired and her family has been threatened. Death by social media.
Obviously, a big lesson in all of this is not to share your every thought with the world. The girl on twitter had 500 followers; she wasn’t a celebrity. She was just someone making a bad joke. I’m going to guess that there are hundreds of thousands of bad jokes made on Twitter and Facebook every week, but for some reason, the Social Media gods decided she must pay. So now she’ll shut up and keep her bad jokes to herself. Note to self: don’t try to be funny/provocative on the internet.
Phil Robertson expressed himself, in what we call “colorful language”, but he wasn’t joking. He was saying what he thought and lots of people who don’t like what he thinks, raised cane. Cracker Barrel pulled his merchandise, got yelled out on social media, and now have put it back. He was fired and his show may end, and while he probably doesn’t give a darn, the lesson for the rest of us is clear- Don’t say what you think because it might offend someone.
We are turning into a humorless bunch of jacklegs.
Here’s my promise to my friends and family – feel free to say what you want in 2014 – I promise not to get offended. You can make jokes, politically correct and otherwise, say stupid things that I don’t agree with, and even post Facebook updates that show you’re against my lifestyle. (I see you making fun of hoarders!)
Can we all just relax in 2014? Let’s choose NOT to post that Facebook rant, not to give a dirty look to the guy smoking. Let’s drink Big Gulp’s guilt-free and give each other great, big helpings of grace. Can we agree that buying a duck call doesn’t mean we hate gay people and watching a Matt Damon movie doesn’t mean we hate Republicans, and sometimes you just really want to eat a Chick-fil-a sandwich and not make a political statement?
If “whatever” was the most hated word of 2013, let’s make “grace” the most used one of 2014.
And next time there’s a Social Media mob, let’s ignore them and get together for a glass of wine and old-fashioned conversation instead.
More grace, more drinking – it’s sure to bring even the most opposite of folks together.