The world as I see it is polarized. Everything, and everyone, is divided and set at odds against something, and someone else.
Democrats vs. Republicans.
Management vs. Employees.
Men vs. Women.
Then there’s this whole sports thing. Every Sunday, groups in similar clothing throw around some oblong ball and try to hurt each other, and we cheer for whichever color jersey we prefer, and have a level of disdain for jerseys of the wrong color. (By the way, I’m cheering for the guys in orange and blue, and we’ve got this shiny trophy to prove that my team is better than yours.)
It’s not just outside the four walls of our churches either. I’ve been following a ridiculous argument over Bible translations lately. Apparently, I’m a rank pagan, since I like the ESV translation. I’m afraid to tell those KJV-only guys that I like the New Living Translation. I’d probably get burned at the stake for that one.
But what if I told you that everything is not a competition?
What if you didn’t have to be right all the time?
Would you even entertain the idea that maybe you’re wrong?
I know that I don’t like being wrong, and when I am, I certainly don’t like hearing about it. Nobody does.
But I need it.
You need it. We all need it. If we never know our faults, we’ll never fix them.
In the United States, and in the entire world, we are dealing with a plethora of complicated issues, and we’re having lots of conversations via memes and CAPS LOCK comments. Let me try and clear some things up for you.
Everybody is terrible. Or maybe everybody is great?
At least, I believe that everybody is potentially great. The problem is that we (all of us) settle for less.
You can pick your own sports teams to support. Don’t just root for the same ones that your friends like, or that your parents liked when you were a kid. If you don’t want to, you aren’t required to cheer for the home team. (But whatever on this. We’ve got bigger problems than your choice in jersey colors.)
We could look at political candidates and select them based on who they are, rather than whether they have an “R” or “D” behind their name.
Women are great, and you can admit it without “turning in your man-card.”
Honestly, I wish that everybody could just chill out, myself included.
Seriously, just find somebody that you disagree with and give them a hug.
Will it fix everything? Nope.
Will it fix anything? I don’t know, but it certainly couldn’t hurt, because I know this to be true:
Love is better than whatever else we’re doing.
If Michelle Obama, the most vile first-lady in all of history, can hug a brain-dead, war criminal like George W. Bush, then maybe you can be nice, too.
(By the way, those things I just said about Michelle and George are jokes. Lighten up.)
But instead of celebrating this show of goodwill, we are prone to turn positives into negatives, kinda like this:
— Bush has sold out to the liberal agenda, just like his turncoat father who is voting for the Democrats. (Don’t say this.)
— Why do we even need a National Museum of African American History and Culture? Where’s the White Museum? (Don’t say this, either.)
— Poor guy, getting hugged by that ugly monkey Moo-chelle. (DEFINITELY don’t say this.)
Do I think Obama is a good president? Do I think his wife has done anything good for America? In answer to those, I’ll offer you another question: Who cares what I think?
And really, who cares what you think? The more we all shut up, the better we’d all get along. I’m not saying never speak your mind. Come on, I’m writing a blog and hoping that you read it and you care what I have to say. But really, do we have to have a commentary on everything?
Don’t go looking for a fight. Try looking for peace, instead. After all, Jesus didn’t say “Blessed are those who win all the arguments.” Quite the contrary: “Blessed are the peacemakers.” Peace is not made with friends, but with enemies. You settle up with people that you have disagreements. You don’t have to be right. You just have to be peaceful.
Can we do it? Really, can we just not hate each other for everything?
If two of the most polarized figures in recent American history can share a hug, I think that we can try.
(And it’s not lost on me that I chastised the world for having adult discussions with memes, all while using three of them. I’m as funny as I am hypocritical.)