“the multitude of words…”
I was talking to a friend of mine on the phone the other day, and she asked about a mutual friend of ours. They hadn’t seen each other in awhile, and she was wondering if I knew how she was doing. And then we laughed about how, even though this friend posts on facebook nearly every day, you really can’t tell by those how she is doing. And that’s because most of her posts are just “shares” from sites she likes. There’s not really a lot of personal stuff from her.
That conversation reminded me of one I had with my sister not too long ago. We were talking about facebook, and about how a mutual friend of ours (Claire) frequently posts “shares” that are political in nature, and usually biased in the opposite direction of where my sister’s bias lies. (With the understanding, of course, that we all have a bias in one direction or another.) My sister was saying that these posts from Claire seem so rigid and narrow-minded, that she has to remind herself of how kind and good-natured Claire truly is.
In a way, I think facebook is today’s version of bumper stickers. People share brief snippets or photos that speak to their passions or their beliefs, their religious or political bent. And they don’t usually concern themselves with how they’ll be received. I’ve driven behind cars with stickers that offend, and walked by people wearing statement t-shirts I don’t understand, and opened up facebook to see quotes or opinions that might disagree sharply with deeply-held beliefs of mine. We post (or wear, or display) our viewpoints proudly, often not caring that others might not want to see them.
And of course, we judge one another. I remember a post a year ago, or more, by a friend of mine, who made a crude comment about a politician. I was really taken aback because I’d never heard him express any sort of political leaning in conversation, and I’d certainly never heard him say something so unpleasant. My view of him changed. And I’m not really sure that was fair of me. Yes, I’d gotten a glimpse into a different side of him. But that’s just one side. He was still the same friend whose company I had enjoyed in the past.
We are more than what we appear. Each of us. But it takes so much work for me to remember that about others when I see only one side of them on a regular basis. The wonderful people that I know are sinners, and the guy who wouldn’t let me in front of him in traffic last night is loved by someone.
We never know as much as we think we do. Judge not, lest ye be judged.