I awoke one February morning to find two of my friends fighting on my Facebook timeline. The argument lasted for two days, and they didn’t even know each other. I’ve had people tell me they’re afraid to talk openly with their friends because they don’t know where they stand anymore. I’ve seen hateful words traveling across the airways from folks who are usually loving and kind. Even in my Safety Harbor cocoon, I’ve heard people snarling behind each other’s backs and publishing all sorts of mean-spirited rhetoric.
What kind of example are adults setting for today’s youth? Some of the name calling and mudslinging coming from adults today would surely result in suspension, or at least detention if expressed by children in the classroom.
Sticks and stones will break my bones
But words will never hurt me.
A rhyme from our childhood, but it’s a lie. As Maya Angelou said, “Words are things,” and yes, they can be hurtful and damaging, with consequences lasting a lifetime.
Do politics shape our values or do our values shape our politics? Must we treat each other with animosity just because we don’t always agree? I am a firm believer in the inherent goodness of humankind. I believe that love triumphs over hate. But these days, hatred is creeping up and taking more than its market share.
February is traditionally the month of love. What’s happening? It’s not just here, it’s nationwide: divisiveness, animosity, name-calling have reached a sudden high.
We are all guided by some form of higher principle, whether it’s God, spirituality, nature or science. We each have a teaching from our childhood that instructs us how to behave towards one another. It goes something like this: Treat others as you would like to be treated. It involves kindness, understanding, respect . . . and yes, love.
Surely we can find a way to bring back the love.