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Thinking Out Loud

black and white of an old weathered train depot building

Social media seems to be a lot about anger, shame, and fear. What has brought us together (the internet) is the same thing that is separating us.

We don't engage with information solely as information. It seems that it has become a type of identity marker. One side is quick to dismiss the other side based merely on what source they got their information from. Information has become tribal.


Labels and sides. Pick a side. Up or Down. Left or Right. Yours or Mine. Right or Wrong. Us or Them. For or Against. One side or the other.

When this happens the focus becomes about the "other side's" perceived weaknesses while completely ignoring their actual strengths. Like the "me" that knows what I should put in my body and the "me" that enjoys chocolate, isn't there more than one side to all of us?

To think that there are only two possible conclusions - only two sides - to think that there are only two possible reasons for anything anyone does, with all of the potential variables at work in any given situation is naive, at best.

There are many who, it seems, would rather martyr themselves than acknowledge that they may be wrong about the other side, whatever that side is.

There are those who would rather hang on to their anger and fears. I get it. Anger gives us an illusory sense of control. And it feels safe in thinking one is in control.

Everyone wants you to believe that they are being reasonable and objective.

Sorry, but I'm not seeing it.

Being objective does not mean to push one's own beliefs and opinions, however subtly. Being objective means to challenge your own deeply held beliefs and values so you can see things from an angle you hadn't considered before.

You can make it about the bad or you can make it about the good.

You can make it about fear and panic or you can make it about calm and happiness.

You can make it about worry or doubt or knowing, or you can make it about curiosity and possibilities and learning.

You can make it about trying to tear down others or you can make it about self-growth.

So stop looking at what you believe they are doing wrong and what you believe you are doing right. Stop looking at everyone else and start looking within yourself.

After all...what if you're wrong?

It's your choice. It always was.

It's not about us vs. them. It never was.

It's about you vs. yourself.

Challenge your OWN thoughts and beliefs. Or are they that fragile?

Pic by Coffee And A Map

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