Raise your hand if you have seen an opinion shared in your news-feed in the last two hours.
All the hands raise.
How many of you had your lives changed by seeing that opinion?
No hands raise.
What makes you think your opinion is truly going to change the world from your social media platform?
This is when we all start yelling about social injustice, bigotry and how 50% of the country is alright with seeing children get slaughtered in schools. It’s when you say that by taking away guns from good people that bad people will still have the guns and that will do nothing but leave good folks with no means for self defense. Or it’s when you say that you’re the person aiming the barrel of a gun at a child for not wanting to revisit the 2nd amendment. It’s where we get passionate in fighting with strangers from behind our screens and get consumed with the fragile notion that somehow we’re truly making a difference with opinions. It’s when we think the president can actually see how much we support or hate him by the unproductive argument we’re having with this acquaintance or stranger.
It’s when we demonize people that we don’t even know. This argument is where you forget that the person on the other side of the screen is likely a person who has the same humanity, desire for happiness, children they adore and a hope for peace as you do.
I know that there isn’t a single good person out there (yes, we obviously got a few bad ones) who’s heart doesn’t bleed for the innocence murdered in the recent days within our country. There isn’t a single parent who thinks “my opinion matters more than my baby’s life”. Yet, we see anyone on the other side of our perspective as the evil doer incarnate because of who they voted or didn’t vote for. We see the opposing arguer as a person who wants this evil to happen because they don’t see the sames means to a reckoning the way we do. We see ourselves as perfect.
What if we paused for a second. Before we think we are accomplishing justice by doing all we can to make another feel small that possibly we remember that there is a face to that opinion; maybe a face we wouldn’t say such visceral and demeaning words to if we were sitting across a table from them.
What if we remember that the world truly doesn’t care about what you think, especially on social media where you’re among the fray. The fray of fear, anger and opinion. Your voice doesn’t change anyone’s hearts when the intent is to prove them wrong. It just doesn’t. When can you recall a time when your heart was changed by someone saying “You’re wrong! You’re wrong! You’re wrong!”?
Let’s not be deceived that your opinion has power. What does have power is remembering that you don’t control others. You don’t influence them from this side of the screen. You have the power to understand them and to grow in your perspective. If that power isn’t good enough do something about it. Run for legislature. Visit with your politicians (because standing on a sidewalk with a sign is about as effective as posting from your page). Pause before running your mouth at your opponent and ask questions instead. Raise your kids within your beliefs and be blessed by their life. If you’re afraid of this world stop reading this and Google ways to be empowered above that fear. Stop wasting your value on spouting your truly worthless opinion.
I will end with the irony that this is my opinion on worthless opinions. Remember where real value and power exists. It exists within your interactions with others you share your days with. It exists within your character and how you value people. In your soul there’s actions steps to making a difference and it stops with just scrolling for a fight. It ends when you discontinue to weaponize your words.
Please pause next time and remember that your opinion is just that. Your small opinion.
With lots of love,