The Elephant In The Room.
I didn’t intend my trip to Southern California to be a detox of sorts from social media.
Being away from my life and the platform is revealing.
My son’s in-laws live in San Diego. They invited us down right after the wedding.
We really like them and thought “Why not?”
The weather isn’t perfect, in fact the sunny 70 degree weather replaced for our trip, with 60’s.
But for us, after being in -55 and snow for a few weeks, this is like summer to us.
One of the big surprises of this trip is how happy, friendly and kind the people in San Diego are.
Living in Oregon most of my life I bought into the idea that folks in SoCo, were rude and full of themselves.
Now, I’m sure like anyplace that can be true.
But we’ve found the folks in San Diego to be super warm and kind.
I haven’t been on social media as much because I’m with family and busy.
My business place is social media and while I get used to it, the atmosphere on here is toxic. I don’t notice it because….I just don’t or maybe I can’t?
Now I do.
When I get a free moment I scroll through the feeds and it makes me feel sick.
Part of what plays into this is I had a couple folks refuse to do shows with me because they didn’t want to align with me politically.
This is where we are as a culture?
We disagree so I refuse to work with you?
When did the truth and pointing out faulty narratives become political?
I get folks on here who say “I like the Rick Dancer who was on the news not this new version.”
When I was on the news my job was to present information that made you question the government, society and even your own assumptions.
Do my questions put me in a camp or do you?
We live in a world that wants to hear what it wants to hear and loves to tickle itself with flattering words and stories that reinforce what we already believe.
We don’t want to challenge our assumptions so we label, cancel and dig our heels in deeper, doing exactly what we accuse the “others” of doing.
Rather than question we fight amongst ourselves, like the Elephants in the video above.
The push for kindness is a rather empty phrase reserved for yard signs and stickers placed on business windows.
But kindness can’t be faked.
I used to think if you are kind, kindness will find you.
I don’t believe that anymore.
Kindness is a state of mind that is choked to death by division, judgement and a refusal to listen to others.
So the elephant in the room is this…..what do I do now?
Toxicity is deadly.
My workplace is unhealthy.
It may be time to pivot again.
A friend once gave me a great piece of advice. He said “If it robs you of your peace, it may not be the right thing to do.”
The good news is the God who got me to this place in my life is still here.
He took me to Montana to find a new way to live and the real meaning of kindness.
Now he’s showing me a next step.
Perhaps it’s time to separate my media?
Maybe reserve certain pages from politics and others from stories about people?
I have a feeling that’s not the real issue but maybe that’s how I deal with it and separate myself from the toxicity of others?
The San Diego twist is opening my eyes and really shocks me.
I kind of expected Montana’s authenticity but to find the kindness factor here is restorative.
People don’t have to agree to interact.
People who are truly kind don’t cancel.
People who live outside the confines of fear aren’t afraid of differences.
There’s a great big world out here with amazing people who are open, hard working and truly care about people around them.
Perhaps it’s time to focus on them and leave the others to their misery.
I have a feeling 2023 is going to be the year of Kindness, real kindness.
Perhaps we can take this journey together?