Thursday, October 13, 2016

Won't You Be My Friend?

UnFriends and Friends
Choosing Heart in a Heartless Campaign
 I have in-real-life friends and, like most people who have joined the twenty-first century, I have social media friends. My social media friends are a mixed bag: family members and real-life friends, classmates, colleagues, neighbors, and even friends of family and friends of friends. Many of my social media friends are those with whom I share common interests: the development where we live, orchid growing, epiphyllum growing, gardening, supporting local businesses, and local events groups. I don’t know my friend count offhand, and it changes depending on who is angry with me or who is angry with my family and/or other friends. It likely changes when I mention something controversial.
This vile political season has people dropping friends, hiding friends, unfollowing friends, and some pretty heated vitriol among “friends.” Earlier today, I read a status in which someone said that they would remove all people from their friend list who disagreed with their choice for president in the upcoming election. The person decided that those people aren’t worth any further association with them.
I understand differences of opinion and I understand differences of politics. I have immense differences regarding politics, religion, and social issues with several of my social media friends and even with my real-life friends and family.
In the years I’ve been on social media, I have removed one person from my friend list. One. I removed her because she attacked me personally without cause. She attacked me regarding my beliefs and knowledge, and she attacked my professional qualifications. I don’t need someone like her in my life, so she isn’t.
I disagree in the most strong terms with some of my friends’ choices for the upcoming election. I will not unfriend them. When I think of each person, I know they have goodness in their hearts. I know they love their family. I know they love their pets. I know they love their country. I know they love their God. I know they have compassion and caring because of the very things they have said to me. I know they have hearts that love, hearts that yearn, hearts that grieve, hearts that are full of hope.
It’s those hearts that I want to keep as my friends. I know that this election will end. Someone will be president. I refuse to separate myself from people who have hearts that touch mine and continue to touch other hearts each day. I intend to keep my friends.

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