Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.James 1:19
I have tried to keep my distance from social media and the mainstream media for awhile, but unfortunately, I have been more “plugged in” these last few months. This means that I have become more aware of the endless controversy and anger that the media constantly stirs up in everyone. You could say that I fell into the media’s “hysteria trap.” So, a couple of weeks ago, when a good friend of mine posted something controversial on her social media site, I became overly emotional and initiated a digital chat with her.
Our digital chat went on for a few days. After those few days, I asked her if she wanted to talk about it over the phone or in-person. When I saw her in-person, I apologized to her because I thought that she was offended by what I had expressed to her. To my pleasant surprise, she told me that she didn’t feel like what I said was harsh, and at the end of our conversation, she was glad that we had talked about the issue.
If I could go back in time, I wouldn’t have confronted my friend about my feelings through text because texts can be easily misinterpreted. What I should have done was talk to her about it over the phone or in-person from the start. Thankfully, I think that the conversation went really well, and it made me realize that we—as a society—can’t stop talking to each other about issues that matter. Here are three reasons why.
We need to keep learning and we need to realize that we don’t have all the answers.
If we make assumptions and snap judgments without trying to understand another person’s views and experiences, then we might never realize when our beliefs are wrong or misguided. We might be unknowingly advocating for the wrong solution.
We don’t want to have regrets.
In a previous post, I wrote about five common regrets that people have on their deathbeds. According to Bronnie Ware, one of the common regrets was stated in this way—”I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.” I don’t think that it is always good to say what is on your mind, but depending on the issue or scenario, a healthy discussion can help to bring about positive change.
We don’t want to be lonely anymore.
I used to think that people can’t be lonely if they have friends and family, but this is not true. According to Psychology Today, people feel lonely if they don’t feel “in tune” with people around them or if they feel like there is a “lack of authenticity” in their relationships. Loneliness can contribute to health issues such as depression, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, psychosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.
There are so many polarizing issues to argue about and I have come to believe that these issues often lead to anger and division because of fear. Perhaps if we put our fear to the side for a little bit and allowed ourselves to be authentic and vulnerable with our loved ones, then we would not feel so lonely. If we have these conversations with discernment, love, and the truth in mind, I believe that conversations about these important issues can ultimately bring us closer together.