I had two inspiring Facebook encounters today (yes, yes, that happens!) that made me think and also re-think a few matters.
The first conversation was with a guy I used to go to school with. We probably have not talked ever since we finished school 18 years ago, but every now and then I take a peek at his Facebook profile. This is how I knew that he is a pastor for a Free Church. So today we started chatting – it started off with the usual “So, what have you been up to?” but soon developed into a really interesting discussion about religion, the Church and believes. It is not important here to repeat what the conversation was about, it was just really interesting. I was able to get to the bottom of his opinion and vice versa.
My second inspiration was not really a conversation but rather a status update posted by a girl I run into every now and then on different occasions, but I don’t know her very well. She posted a very factual statement about how a certain kind of animal abuse is illegal here in Germany and that you actually can and should report such crimes to the police. No pathos, no pictures of poor little abused kitties. Just facts and a calm request for awareness.
Those encounters made me both happy and pensive. Happy because there is room and inspiration for discussion, for opinions and for some sort of analysis. Pensive because…. well, because of the topics. Religion and spiritualism is something that I am always interested in and also part of my personal development. Pets a much further away for me – I never had any, and I do not really believe in the concept of having pets at home. When it comes to the “production” of our meat, I freely admit that I choose to block it out for the time being. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to still eat meat anymore. It is a conscious choice (which you are allowed to despise but please accept).
I have noticed in myself that the in-your-face mentality causes the complete opposite of its intention in me. Maybe I am wired in a weird way, but something in me always snaps when people start to preach and / or spread their hatred. When the vegan army posts their pictures of factory farming garnished with dogmatic paroles, I feel the urge to post pictures of big chunks of meat. When someone tries to force religious believes on my, I want to quote satanic verses. 🙂 Why is that? Is it due to the media that changed a lot over the past few years? Nowadays you can easily download the most brutal pictures and videos. You can throw your hatred out there – but hatred never gets you anywhere and it certainly does not convince anybody of anything!
The only thing that works for me is factual information. It is also ok to be emotional or passionate about those matters but what I miss many times is the acceptance of either the other person’s lack of information or the acceptance of different opinions. Discourse is the only way to develop or even change opinions. Ever since I started to go out with Mr. Betterhalf, I am becoming much more aware of the cruelty of companies especially when it comes to animals’ rights. And that is because he doesn’t force it on my. We just discuss the matter and the more information I get, the more I become aware of things.
You have got to give people time to process information at their own pace. And I believe that written information or conversations are much more useful than posts full of hatred. We see so many evil and bad things on the news everyday and I think it deadens our empathy and awareness. And all day we are bombarded with in-your-face information that wants to convince us of something… which products to buy, which body to have, which party to vote for. It’s too much and nothing gets through anymore! If we didn’t build a protective wall around our consciousness, we would probably collapse or go nuts with the overload! But said wall then also leads to not being able to get important information in.
My wish for today is more discourse. Get that hatred out of your body (it’s not good for your health and it makes you ugly) and get ready for conversations. None of us is omniscient and even if our opinions are miles away from each other, we can always get inspiration. And never forget: it is always ok to change your opinion – it is not a sign of weakness!
And now, I would really like to read your opinion 🙂
Yours truly, madly, deeply!