“And Jesus concluded, ‘In your opinion, which one of these three acted like a neighbor toward the man attacked by the robbers?’ The teacher of the Law answered, ‘The one who was kind to him.’ Jesus replied, ‘You go, then, and do the same.’” (Luke 10:36-37)
One of my closest friends was struggling a few weeks ago with whether to remain on Facebook or not mostly for the very same reason why I have myself in recent times, that being due to the overall lack of kindness from numerous others in their postings and comments. Thankfully, I found a workaround for this long ago that I passed along to this dear friend, that being the “mass unfollow” option that allows a person to unfollow everyone connected to them so that their newsfeed becomes essentially blank, all except for their own postings.
Facebook, like much of the world seems to have become these days, is a big dumping ground for individuals to express their negativity surrounding all those hot-button topics out there, often with no regard for how polarizing their postings and comments can be. In the past six months, the majority of what I’ve seen on social media has been filled with vast amounts of criticism towards political and religious leaders, towards how people are handling COVID-19, and now towards police brutality and the racism that still exists in our world.
I specifically don’t follow anyone on Facebook for this very reason, as I don’t want to subject myself to anyone’s polarizing comments and postings that quite often seem to be weighted with unkindness towards someone or something. Some may say they are simply expressing what they believe is truth, but if expressing these “truths” means placing more unkind words towards anyone or anything out there, the sad reality is that doing so is only going to create more unkindness in our world.
Unkind words and unkindness in general only lead to more unkind words and more unkindness from others. For example, for every posting that places “truths” through the usage of unkind words towards say our President or those running against him, the opposing side then gets charged and sends their own unkind words back, thus creating a vicious cycle that truly goes nowhere. Hence the reason why I steer clear of following anyone on Facebook, so that I don’t have to see any of this whenever I log in. Instead, I always see a newsfeed of my own postings, which has provided me, and now my friend as well, some much-needed relief from having to see all that toxicity coming from so many postings weighted with unkindness.
The fact is, a kind word will go a long way, even when directed towards those we may not like, just as much as an unkind word will go a long way as well. Each ripple outward creating either more kindness or more unkindness, whichever is used. That’s why I never post anything unkind on Facebook and why I rarely look at anyone’s timelines, so I can remain free from feeling any desire to become unkind myself.
Like the good Samaritan who expressed kindness and helped a person truly out of generosity who would otherwise have spit upon them, I choose to be a vessel who wishes to do the same, in all my actions, including on social media and throughout the rest of my life as well. Thankfully there are options like unfollowing the masses on Facebook, to help keep that focus, rather than exposing myself to any of the many weighted postings and words out there on social media that far too often are filled with so much unkindness, yet labeled as “truths”. While indeed some of them may be “truths”, using unkind words to express them will never accomplish anything but creating greater unkindness and polarization amongst us all.
I pray to always use kind words in all my thoughts, words, and actions, so that I may do my part to creating greater kindness in this world.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson