My favorite quote of all time is Anne Frank’s
“How lovely it is that no-one need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world”
As a blogger my goal is to use my voice and thoughts to uplift first my small niche, those who have left foster care, then those who have experienced trauma and maybe some of these thoughts will expand to…well, the world.
The other day I was listening to Darren Rowse of The Pro Blogger podcast, One of the points he made really stuck with me. As he spoke about the state of the world he listed things the internet doesn’t need to have added it to it. He said “The world doesn’t need more fear. We don’t need more opinions. We need more kindness and connection”. Even if that kindness is just smiling with your eyes behind a mask, we need to use the skills we have to benefit others.
I have recently heard about family members falling out with each other over different views. I’ve listened to smug opinions on from all sides, people saying things online that they just wouldn’t say face to face. And I’m not going to discuss my own opinions here. but rather I’d like to draw focus into the simple fact that we all need grace.
When I say Grace I’m not necessarily talking about religion, this is not intended to be a faith blog. I’m talking instead about human decency. About giving others better than they deserve and about hoping even expecting to be treated the same way.
I think as former foster youth, some of us have an advantage here as we have learned that to survive well you have to be diplomatic.
-Having or showing the ability to deal with people in a sensitive and effective way’
A “gift” of living in several different environments is that we tend to know people of all types. As a child my goal of staying out of group homes meant I had to learn to get along, to sometimes keep quiet (extremely difficult for me) and to do what I could to keep the peace. It didn’t always work, and sometimes I screwed up royally. but that leads me to my next point:
Be willing to take responsibility for your own actions or in the case of online, words: We are none of us perfect, when we can admit that to ourselves and others, what we say is often received than better that if we approach matters with the attitude that “I am right and you are wrong”. It’s pretty much a given that the other person is not going to agree completely with that statement so try to find a middle ground.
Don’t say online what you wouldn’t say to a persons face! Now I recognize some of us are bold. (myself included) but a general rule of thumb is if it would gt you punched in the face at the grocery store, it shouldn’t be said online.
If you feel you must critique someone, use the Sandwich Method: Say something positive about them, then put out the hard stuff with the intent of helping then say another positive thing.
You don’t have to agree to be agreeable! Try to see someones perspective as they do. Even if you know it’s not what you personally believe, people deserve to be heard! Often times I find that just being listened to or just listening helps the conversation have a more compassionate bend.
The other day I attended a training for working with youth. The instructor talked a lot about unconditional acceptance, the idea that people deserve decency just because they ARE. There is nothing they can do to lose that right. I loved this because I have some rather strong opinions that don’t always align with all the young people I know, yet my desire to let them know that they actually have purpose and they matter far outways my need to have my opinion adhered to.
It used to be that we welcomed differing opinions. That diversity, not just of skin tone but of thought lifted our country and set us apart. Try as they might, no one can force another to believe differently than what is inhererently ours.
Some of us will turn to God, some to Others, some to Science, some to Self. but it doesn’t make us wrong. In my opinion, the only thing that does make us wrong, is when our desire to be right is so fierce we cease to tolerate others.
We are 7 weeks into our Quarantine and socially it seems to we are heading into war. Much like my last post I see division everwhere, from politics to priorities, Relatioships are literally splitting up over differing opinions and again we are only 7 weeks in!
I appreciate this gift, of starting life so far down that I’m not too distracted to see or listen. Someone in a former foster group commented that our trauma makes us “silent leaders”, and in the old idea that leaders should ultimately be servants. Perhaps that’s true.
I only know that I know pain, I can sense trouble like the smell of rain before a storm. And I personaly believe that if we can’t stop the division of thinking, believing that we always KNOW our ways are better than others, than this tear that we are experiencing is going to be more trouble can we can possibly mend.
We must practice diplomacy. We must give others the benefit of the doubt. We must be committed to lifting others even if they are so very different than us with our actions but also our and at this moment so very importantly our written words.
Stay well friends! & as always,
I’m rooting for you!