If you are going to read this post, I need you to read it through to the end.
If you are already upset and pissed off (rightly so) about the current events, then it is even more important for you to hear me out.
You should know that this article started out differently when I first wrote it.
I also let my emotions take over and wrote some things that were borne out of anger and hate.
Luckily, in writing, we have the ability to edit. In the real world, what we say or do is permanent.
The Huge Elephant in the Room
I know you’re all upset now about this recent problem.
Since I don’t watch or read the news, I heard about it a little later than most people.
My information came from Facebook and Reddit.
My natural instinct is to assume everything that I read about current events is sensationalized or at least 50% further from the actual truth.
But the more I read, the more I saw the evil and hatred that had happened.
And I saw what it did to my friends.
These posts started flying around Facebook.
“blah blah blah, Unfriend Me if you don’t agree.”
There were a few variations but the messages were all the same.
I’ve read through the comment threads on my friends’ posts and have seen long-term friendships end over this.
Normally, I don’t concern myself too much with what people do, even my friends.
But this wasn’t one friend.
I saw it happen too much.
Like an epidemic of hatred, anger, and over-reaction.
I don’t know why this friendship-ending plague was spreading like it was.
What I saw was a lack of compassion and understanding for our friends.
I know that I have been very wrong on many points in the past.
So have you.
Is it sensible to have our friends villainize us for one thought?
Aren’t friends there to help and improve one another when we go wrong?
I don’t want you to take this message the wrong way.
I think these people are dead wrong and causing evil in the world and that they should be stopped.
Hatred is never the answer.
Maybe some of these people are lost causes but I would bet that some of them could be helped and guided in the right direction.
Is that unreasonable to think that some of these people have been raised or influenced in a way that has steered them terribly wrong?
I know that in my life, I have been given many chances for the times I have made huge mistakes.
I am thankful for those chances and I am a better man for it today.
I was also given a good life by my parents and the people I grew up with.
Do you think these people had great parents and influences growing up?
I don’t think most of them could have had as good of a chance as I did.
Before we raise the pitchforks and pass judgment, don’t they at least deserve the possibility of help?
To a degree, we are products of our environment.
If you had been born into their life and taken every life step and lesson they had, could you have made the same wrong choices?
Even if you disagree with me on that, and I can understand it, especially for the ones who have committed these acts of hate and violence, there is another group to consider.
Your friends in the real world.
Be a Part of the Solution
Can you call yourself a good friend if you aren’t there to help your misguided friends to better themselves?
So many people are destroying friendships over a Facebook post that is questioning the actions and events.
Couldn’t you be a more positive force on the world by at least trying to guide these people away from the potential hatred?
Do you think dismissing them and throwing them away is going to help anything?
Talk with these people.
They were your friends for a reason.
Every single person has lived a different life up until this moment.
They may not understand the things you do.
YOU can make the world better and have a part in healing us from this growing hatred and evil.
YOU can talk to the friends that you quickly unfriended and cut off.
YOU have a chance to make a difference in the mindset of people.
After all, isn’t this entire issue a problem of pitting opposing mindsets in order to divide people?
YOU can bring people together and spread love and understanding instead of hate.
Even if you have deleted friends over this issue, it is not too late to reach out again and talk.
YOU can help bring people together, even if the rest of the world is trying to tear people apart.