To be irrational is to be illogical, unreasonable; to express oneself in a nonsensical way, to be baseless in thought and groundless in being.
I imagine all of us visited this headspace in some way over these last 12 months. Guilty! My rendition was being absolutely thrilled I didn’t have to be social. I have no problem saying Nope – but I’ve been told it can come across a bit…rude. But now! I rarely have to decline. I also may or may not have freaked out about the hygiene level of, everyone. I caught myself reminding people, “even if they don’t’ have COVID, they most definitely touched their butt today before testing that apple’s ripeness.” Sadly, this state of irrationality is now woven into our society as the norm whether through media channels, hidden agendas, and will be used against us for someone else’s gain. Many of us face it on a daily. We lack boundaries, we do not protect our minds and hearts, we do not filter information or process it in a way that resonates with our being, causing us to seek truth. We accept the information as fact and absorb whatever sentiment is tied to it – fear, anger, doubt. We sit in echo chambers, we boldly** state our opinions behind the safety of a screen, and dare others to argue with us, even those we claim to love. Relationships are no longer based on the shared brokenness that comes with being human but in reds and blues, left and right, and who can speak louder or use more complicated terminology.
In my experience, and this is solely my experience, no one ever changed anyone’s mind through the volume of their voice, a bloated chest, or a cleverly shaming social media [re]post. What this behavior does cause, however, is a slow chipping away of the notion of relational safety, respect, and vulnerability. Shame and fear begin to fill these spaces. Are we good enough, smart enough, do our opinions even matter? We then hand the reigns over and begin to believe these narratives, these ideals that someone else (just another broken person, by the way) knows better. And we settle. We settle for partners, friends, poor treatment at work. We convince ourselves this is all there is, and very soon, all there is becomes enough. This belief is irrational. It is baseless. It is illogical and unreasonable. Relationships can ONLY thrive with trust (safety), vulnerability, and shared respect. So this process of replacing these sacred things with shame and fear is the ultimate destruction of connection. We no longer show care for others (unless we need a fresh social media post), we think only of ourselves (excusing it away), we isolate for fear of offending someone (because everyone is on edge), and wake up one day feeling completely alone surrounded by a sea of people.
My question to you is this: When the day is done and you lay your weary bones to rest – what do you want more? A gentle hand resting on yours – its light caress offering safety and companionship? A safe space to be exactly who you are, and say exactly what you’re thinking? The unspoken connection of knowing someone, loving someone, and being in community whether or not you agree on policy? OR, Do you want to be in control (perceived of course, because no one is really in control)? Sitting alone in shame and fear (which presents as self-righteousness or anger mostly), mindlessly settling for what someone else tells you, you should think?
We are lost. It is more apparent than ever how humanity’s affinity for power has corrupted us all. And now, it’s corrupting families, friendships, work environments, even how we view ourselves. I say, turn off the news, log off social media, sit and have honest, raw conversations with those you love, those you trust. Get to KNOW your people, share your hearts. Gain perspective by being vulnerable, even with the least of these (in this case: those who think differently than you), and leave your ego at the door. Set boundaries in your relationships – especially those you want to keep. LISTEN, process, lead with empathy, cultivate a willingness to change, to admit you’re wrong, and maybe we can turn this thing around.
When we place our hopes and future in the hands of another human, we have lost. It is not about looking to another person or group of people to make us happy – it’s about being IN relationship and doing LIFE together. Growing, failing, hurting, and limping together. It’s about connection. It’s about love. Choosing one another despite religion, political beliefs, taste in music, or good day vs. bad day. It’s not really a human race, it’s a human relay. Relationship is making ourselves available to carry one another up the hill, limping as we go and sharing joy when things are easy. We should be next to each other in ALL things – not just when it suits us.
** Revisiting the 1st paragraph –
Boldly [defined]: to act confident and courageous in your ways; a willingness to take risks; a strong vivid, and clear appearance.
To be bold in your opinions, one must genuinely show up. There is nothing courageous about being behind a screen and shaming someone or picking a fight with a stranger.
Taking a risk means being willing to say it to someone’s face FIRST, not after being confronted for a passive social media post. Actual conversation is an amazing thing especially if you’re actively listening – not just pausing to continue your argument/stance/perspective.
A strong vivid and clear appearance = face to face – again, not behind a screen but an actual conversation (obviously, six feet apart while wearing masks, unless facetime is your jam).
I really miss seeing people’s food on instagram…never thought I’d say that. I am also aware you are reading this on a screen, likely redirected by social media…touché.