One Thing I don’t Need

There are so many things that I need in my life: strong relationships, good health, peace in my community, lots of laughter, love, and opportunities to serve. I’m willing to wager that these things are necessities for you as well.  Some people might even mention a few tangible things: Starbucks coffee, an iPhone, a house keeper, a large house, or a luxury car.

Given the current state of our union with regard to the vitriolic volleying of fighting words across party lines, racial lines, and socioeconomic lines, one thing I don’t need is another hashtag. One hashtag begets another and another — furthering the divide in our not-so-perfect union. I admit that it’s been difficult for me to stand by and watch the fighting without putting on my own gloves, but just as I’d prepare to tape my hands and don my gloves, I’d recall some words of wisdom.

“Answer not a fool according to his folly,lest you also be like him.” ~Proverbs 26:4 (AMP)

Even after the hashtags die, our problems will continue to loom over us, lurk around the corner, and look for yet another opportunity to hit us where it hurts — right in the gut.  We’re so predictable. We fall for Satan’s ploys time and again, so it’s time to fight back — fight the real enemy.

For the sake of argument, pretend we’re all WWE fighters.  In one corner is the #blacklivesmatter fighter. In the opposing corner is the #alllivesmatter fighter. The bell rings, and they fight. Just when it appears that the #blacklivesmatter fighter has the advantage, some guy comes running from the dressing room — dressed in blue. He jumps into the ring and wails on him. In an attempt to stop the fighting, another guy in blue runs to the ring and starts wailing on all three of them. Meanwhile the referee is ringing the bell and calling for backup. The crowd is going wild, and more boys in blue come running — jumping into the ring. It’s pandemonium!

Just as ridiculous as this scenario, is the hashtag war. It appears that we’re fighting over differing opinions — fighting because that’s what we always do when someone shares an opinion that differs from our beliefs. It doesn’t erase the problem. Fighting just feeds the problem — causing it to grow, spread, infect, and sometimes kill.

The solutions to our problems may take years to discover, but what we’ve learned is that fighting and finger pointing haven’t worked thus far.  What I don’t need is another hashtag to tell me that I matter or don’t matter, and neither should you. Since we are all made in God’s image and precious in his sight, we all matter — whether we truly feel that way or not. We protest to make a point, and many of them are peaceful enough that we are all able to discern the message of the movement. All too often though, media outlets will only broadcast protests that become problematic — causing us to infer what their message might be since it only seems to cause destruction. These messages grow, spread, infect, and sometimes kill.

If we want peace in our nation, we need to have a conversation. Four ingredients are needed before anyone utters a word: an open mind, a closed mouth, facts, and feelings.As one party shares facts and feelings, the other has to have an open mind and a closed mouth. We teach our kids to take turns and be respectful. Who gave us permission to change the rules once we became adults?

Talking it out is a logical first step, and it’s up to all of us to plan our peace talks. I can’t solve our world’s problems, but I can be part of the solution. So can you! I didn’t create this mess, but if I don’t help to clean it up, it’s really gonna start to stink pretty soon. I’m not sure how we can clean it up, but we can’t pour bleach on it. That might eliminate the stench, but it doesn’t get to the source of the problem. As we plan our peace talks, we can certainly ask God to pour out a few extra blessings. We can’t defeat the evils of this world without him.

What are your solutions?

21 Thoughts

  1. You pretty well covered all bases there, Sis. One son in one of his better moments quoted, “Love ’em all, let God sort ’em out.” I like to remember we have two ears and one tongue. The only hashtag I want to see is the one before LoveWins! Excellent post.

  2. Well said Michelle! It’s so tiresome to watch and when one is not careful the tendency is to lose all commonsense and jump into the fray. Sensible dialogue and town hall meeting’s are needed now more than ever. Our battles are many but we can only win with God’s given wisdom.

  3. Oh, you asked for solutions. There are so many variables in what is currently going on that it’s hard to no where to start. I say we start with mandated education. I had to take a Woman’s Studies course (by accident–I thought it was a history class not a soc one) in college to truly learn what discrimination was and the nuances of it in everyday life, I had never heard of terms like Intersectionality, much less been able to define it. That is wrong. We need to be learning these things as mandated curriculum from Middle school and on. Then there is the lack of education it takes to get a badge and a gun. I’m sorry, I know these guys go through :academy (6 wks of manipulation training) but all they need are GEDs. I believe they should have BA’s. That will weed out certain types, We need to have stricter and longer psychological testing and I understand it’s like a street code but part of training needs to reinforce not having a blue wall of silence. There needs to be stricter penalties for excessive force. Who knows how excessive the force is going to be next time. We need a big push for education campaigns for society in general as to what an “ism” actually is. How there is no such thing as reverse racism. What Institutionalized Power and white privilege or male privilege or straight privilege afford certain people–the luxury of not having to see discrimination because they don’t live it. All of these things aren’t going to “fix” the problem, We’ve all been demeaned, put down, tried to be made to feel less than. The real work always starts inside each individual. As in, “you do not define me.”

    1. Powerful solutions, Laura! Education is key! I also agree that we need to add some hours to the training necessary to become an officer. These pop tart courses seem to be the norm these days. You can have all sorts of certifications in 6 weeks or via a few online courses. We are no longer willing to put in the work.

  4. This is a great post. We tend to be tribal in our groupings and less communal and willing to embrace diversity. I think a solution is having a beer or drinking coffee together and starting at a common point.

  5. Saying hello from Jacqueline’s party. I am glad you have written tin article about the ongoing problem in the U.S.. Dialog is definitely needed. I think Laura has some great ideas for working toward a solution.

      1. I actually write it with one “a” , but for no reason i decided to give it another “a” 😂
        You can write it however you want to ❤️
        Have a nice weekend Michelle❤️

  6. Great post Michelle and necessary questions! I think we need to start giving each other the respect we each deserve, stop jumping to conclusions and use our common sense. There have been poor judgments, actions, and reactions by too many leading only to tragedy. Reaching out to God should be our first priority…I’m with you Michelle!!

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