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Building Bridges

I could say plenty about the things I see in my daily life of interacting with people in the public.

I won’t.

I could say a lot about the things I read on the internet, social media especially.

I choose not to.

I could talk about my views of the things I’ve seen on the news, both local and national.

But that’s not the point.

Life shouldn’t be this stressful.

I’ve witnessed so much angst lately between individuals, that more often than not, don’t even really know the person they’re angry with. I’ve unfortunately had to listen to conversations or arguments, while out in public, between individuals, often one’s own family members, that just left me sad for everyone involved.

I read a lot on the internet and sometimes I get lost in the endless bickering about anything and everything. I know I shouldn’t waste my time with such nonsense but I’m curious by nature. I always hope that in the end, someone has the sense to just agree to disagree and still be civil. Usually the interchange just doesn’t end that peacefully. Some people just like the fight while others insist on arguing, even when they have little to no facts.

The incessant tearing down and belittling just because they think they are right has become overwhelming. There just doesn’t seem to be any room for compromise anymore. The middle ground we all should look for in debate is just so rare anymore. The ability to move forward with anything is hindered, to say the least.

I’ve learned and am still learning the art of compromise. It’s not always easy nor is it always necessary but sometimes it’s definitely appropriate. I don’t always have to be right. I haven’t always known that but the older I get the more I realize that progress beats always winning an argument.

Photo by Stephanie Carter – Love Can Build a Bridge by The Judds

The world is moving at a faster and faster pace. Things that took days and weeks before now take minutes. Information can get to us in minutes or seconds after an event takes place. Opinions are formed before facts have a chance to be vetted. We become judge and jury and begin to tear down and dismantle the character of someone long before they’ve even had an honest chance to explain. Because things can move so quickly, patience is a virtue that seems to get further away from many in our society. Even conversations about sports, cars, or shopping often get uncivil because of differing opinions. As a result kindness, I believe, leaves right along with our patience. We envy what others have or boast in ways that make other feel shame, our pride and self centeredness cause us to get angry over things that ultimately don’t matter and hold on to them way longer than is healthy. 

Maybe just maybe we should try to be a little more understanding, try being a little more kind. Appreciate what we have. Be happy for others successes. Rejoice in our own accomplishments but with a dash of humility. Give honor where and when it’s due. Put others before ourselves without ignoring ourselves completely. Be slow to get angry and learn to forgive when we’ve been wronged.

1 Corinthians 13:4-5 says love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”

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