Let’s face it, there is a lot of heat these days. Surrounding everything. Times are divisive. The world is frenzied. Everyone feels the need to give their opinion. On everything. And without a sense of civility. And many opinions contain much more heat than light.
Here are Seven Lights to Live By:
1) Realize you may not be right (at least not on everything) Isn’t there at least a fraction of a percentage point of possibility that you are not completely right on absolutely everything?
2) Listen as much as you speak and read as much as you write (or more) Reading and reading more widely makes us better informed people. No down side here.
3) Treat everyone well (especially people who disagree with you) Remember that you are responding to actual people; not abstract ideas.
4) Control your impulses (don’t get drawn into nasty debate threads or return hate with hate) You don’t have to comment on everything. Sometimes you just let it float on down the river.
5) Try not to take everything so personally (this is a huge skill set if you can master it)
6) Pray for people (who offend your sensibilities) rather than respond to people (who offend your sensibilities) I consider prayer to be the most underutilized of all self management skills. Try it. Get a PBYP (Pray Before You Post) bracelet.
7) Remember that the people whose positions most stress you, are equally stressed by your positions (a lesson in self-awareness)
We all have positions. We all think we are right. Creating a climate of respect amidst disagreement provides an opportunity to display true humanity on one hand and grow and learn on the other.
No down side.
Turn down the heat.
Turn on some light.
Rev. Shane L. Bishop is the Sr. Pastor of Christ Church in Fairview Heights, Illinois