My heart hurts
My heart hurts. Every day it hurts. When I think of the first graders murdered in their classrooms. When a video about children refugees doing what their parents tell them to, as they flee a war-torn country. When I read articles about students with lunch debts having their lunches tossed or getting cheese on bread as a meal. It hurts.
It hurts every day that I see someone posting a hate-driven article with mostly incorrect facts as law, without fact checking for themselves. That people call other people who are here illegally, “illegals” instead of human beings. That women are being called whores and murderers when they seek a safe abortion for reasons that are only their business.
It hurts when I see on the news about a dog being abused, choked, muzzle duct taped shut, or starved. When I read about a cat being used as a chew toy and having rocks thrown at it by children. When people spend thousands of dollars at a breeder when there are thousands of animals awaiting for homes for less than 200 dollars.
When I hear about kids being made fun of for what they wear, when they can’t help that their parents can’t afford something different. When the elementary school has to send out backpacks every Friday to some kids filled with food for the weekend, because that’s the only meal they’ll get until school is back in session on Monday. When a child is bullied because they read or write their words backwards. (I feel for you, kid.)
I get sad at the hypocrisy of it all. The couch warriors who retweet hateful things, repost a meme that spews anger and lies, and yet do nothing to make it better. Just bitch about it for the sake of bitching, and then feed off their friends who are also bitter about it, and further feed the cancer of hate. And the comment section on most any post about anything is just a mess. “Here’s a really extreme one case situation that makes my point for me, that’s probably false anyway,” pretty much sums it up, as my friend said to me.
It’s enough to make me want to swear off all of social media. But I don’t, and I won’t.
In my life I have chosen to surround myself with people who are doers. And even if they aren’t so much doers, they are listeners to all sides and fact checkers. People who make it their life’s mission to save animals, help the homeless, donate time to the less fortunate, or, at the very least, shut up when they need to. See something offensive or something that they don’t agree with? They keep scrolling. It’s not the end of the world.
I don’t know where I’m going with all of this. My head is swimming with all the things I’ve seen in my life, and I wonder if life has always been this way, and I’m just now noticing it, or if it’s really this polarized anymore. Why do people have so much hate in their hearts? Why do people care so much about what other people do in their lives? Why is it so necessary to tell the whole world, via a very hurtful meme, what you think? Would you say this to someone’s face? Would you look them in the eyes and say, “I think that you are a horrible person because you are ______ (gay, getting an abortion, trying to flee a war, are poor, need medical assistance, food stamps, rehab…)”
I often have my kids look people in the eye when they are talking. I remind them every day – especially when giving an apology. I don’t know how many times I have to say, “Look at your sibling. Do you see how sad they are? You need to see this, because it’s right in front of you.”
Now, people can text each other awful things and they don’t see the other person’s reaction; Someone posts something hateful on the internet and they don’t see how it personally affects someone else. I have stopped myself so many times recently by asking myself, “Would you say that to their face? Would you stand by your comment in person?”
I’m just frustrated.
But I’m thankful for my friends who save animals, help kids, are kind to strangers, help their neighbor, look out for each other, pull together in times of need, and post really cute cat videos. It helps take away some of the hurt.