Oh my friends, we have got to do better.
I, me, you, we have got to be better.
I've been so burdened lately by the way I treat people. By the way we treat people. I've been so burdened by the stories I've heard lately. The stories of unkind words, unkind rumors, unkind tweets. I've been burdened lately by words. From all of us, but come on ladies, by how we're treating one another.
I read something Taylor Swift (yes TAYLOR) posted a few months ago, and after the stories I've heard lately, I keep desperately clinging to it. She posted that "we are at our best when we cheer each other on and build each other up." I wholeheartedly - with my whole heart - believe this is so true to its core.
I saw a movie this past weekend that was supposed to be so funny, but I walked out thinking that wasn't very funny. It's not so funny to stereotype and demean, to judge and joke at the expense of others. And Taylor thundered in my ears as I drove home - we are AT OUR BEST when we cheer each other on and build each other up.
We must be cheerleaders and builders, not destroyers and dissenters.
We've got to speak better of each other
encourage one another
believe the best about each other.
We've got to decide that we're all going to be on the same team.
Ain't nobody got time for drama.
I crave something hopeful beyond the gossip and rumors and cruel words that cut to the core. Yes, something hopeful to choose before we choose to tweet or text or group message or screenshot. We are all capable of great kindness.
And because people can be cruel and it's hard to be kind back, or for the moments we're cruel for a reason or maybe no real reason at all, can we practice these things together? I am so with you all.
Can we change the way we communicate? Can we just decide that a tweet just won't do? Can we decide to look people in the eye instead of retreating behind a phone? Can we decide that when something happens, it doesn't end up with a third party (or a fourth or a fifth..)? Can we decide that words are of the utmost importance and when we choose to use them well, we pass value and courage to one another? And when we don't, when we exaggerate or lie or spread something untrue, something settles deep into the souls of our people? People are so much more than the words we say, can we make sure they know that?
Decide we don't want revenge. This one is weird and huge and hard and messy. But the quest for revenge tears holes and puts up walls. It tightens our hearts and retracts it into distrust. It gives power to seeing people in a light that isn't always true, a light that doesn't reflect others' fullest and freest selves. But instead, decide we want forgiveness. Forgiveness is elusive and mysterious and oftentimes a process, but somewhere deep within, it is the purest satisfaction for the thirst for revenge. And maybe for you, right now, it just looks like letting that person off the hook.
Throw kindness around like confetti. I saw this on Pinterest once and I loved it so much. I can see it, this throwing kindness like confetti, I can really see it. Confetti is not glitter (amen) and it is appropriate in moments of celebration, of joy, of friendship. It makes me think of a party, of laughter, of showering others with love. Does it put those images in your mind too? And I can just see us walking around throwing kindness in the air and watching it rain down on one another, filling them with joy and goodness and laughter and freedom. Oh, it would be so abundant and so full.
To begin to throw this confetti and to begin to pass this courage and kindness starts with an understanding who we are. We must understand who our friends, our enemies, our co-workers, and our classmates are. We must believe that we are all more. We're all created in the image of God, so our value is indescribable. Our worth is through the roof. When we look one another in the eye, when we say "I forgive you," when we acknowledge "you are more," oh it just gives power to our inherent and infinite worth.
Let's see people differently. Let's see them as the dearly loved, intricately valuable, wonderfully worthy, lovely human beings that have been made in the image of our Creator. Our looks are valuable, our gifts are valuable, our abilities are valuable, our personalities are valuable.
Grab your handful of confetti, let's throw some around today!