So, I’ve been working on this blog post for a while now and it never quite felt right. Originally, I was simple going to write this as a book review, tell you about a cool book I read with a quick life lesson and that would be that. But it’s the life lesson that I really want to focus on.
I read We Are Called to Rise by Laura McBride. It’s a good story. She dives into the first-person perspective of different characters and allows the reader to feel their emotions. I’ve read many books where authors try this tactic and in my opinion don’t really hit the mark. McBride on the other hand, does this very well. Each character has a different voice and personality that you can hear in the writing. You can tell when you are reading from the perspective of the 8 year-old immigrant boy, middle-age divorcee, or the injured military vet – as you should.
We Are Called to Rise is one of the stories where they all end up connected in the end. One tragic moment in time changes their lives. While reading this particular scene, I almost wanted to shout at each of character, “Hang on, you don’t understand. This person went through that, and that person is feeling this so that’s why they are acting like that.”
I started explaining this in my previous draft of this blog post, and it made me stop and think. I just recently wanted to shout the same thing while reading comments on my social media feeds. The other day I was scrolling through Facebook reading snarky, rude, nasty comments. Some of these comments were in response to a friend or a family member who I knew was going through something; there was a larger story behind their original posts. Then there were others that were just generally rude. I just wanted to stand up with my arms outstretched protecting all of my loved ones from more anguish like a protective mama bear.
Between politics and an overwhelming intake of media, our emotions are high. We are all filled with so much negative energy. Yes, social media platforms seem to increase this frustrated mob mentality, but we can’t blame it solely as the reason why we communicate so horribly with each other. It’s our choice to respond the way we respond. It’s our choice to publish that post with a sarcastic tone, or respond with ridicule. That’s on us. Yes, I include myself in this. I am not perfect either.
We need to take a second to really consider the other people we are talking to. We all work, go to school, deal with traffic, pay bills, … and have all of these other stressors in life. Life is hard completely on its own. Why must we add to that stress and anguish even more by trashing other people?
No, I am not asking for a “safe space.” Let’s talk differences of opinions and learn about new perspectives, but let’s do so with respect.
Yes, sometimes we ourselves are already frustrated for whatever reason and sometimes we can’t stop that frustration from coming out in our tone even if the person we are talking to has nothing to do with the thing that frustrated us to begin with. That’s human nature. But let’s take responsibility for this and make a conscious effort to take a breath before responding, not responding at all or apologize when we realize we said it the wrong way.
I truly believe there are billions of us in this world, not so that we act as hurdles ready to tear each other down, but so we can act as support beams to lift each other up. Think about what this world would look like if we did that. Like the title of the book, we ARE called to rise.
Just my thoughts for the day. Okay rant over. Enjoy the rest of your week!