I truly believe that one of the biggest reasons that our race relations have devolved into such a poor state is that we have forgotten how to have face-to-face conversations. I don’t want to solely blame social media but I do think that who we are, what we say, and how we act on social media is drastically different than how we act if we are having a personal conversation.
On social media, many people are rude, condescending, and downright distasteful. Personal attacks are the norm and if it goes too far, you simply block, unfollow, or close your account. Instead of using the “Unsubscribe” button, why don’t we try to not only follow, but engage with other people who think, live, and look different than we do?
As I have been writing for a year now, we are all much more alike than we are different and if we focus on the things that important to everyone I believe we can learn a lot about each other and break down the barriers that divide us. Certainly, this has become even more relevant in recent days.
As the late, great Dr. Stephen Covey wrote over 30 years ago, our aim should be to “Seek first to understand, and then be understood.” It is a simple process, really. So why do so few people do it? The few that do are the people that really make a difference in the world and in the lives of others.
The truth is, of course, that the more we give, the more we get. The more we seek to understand other people, the more people want to be connected with us. And the more bridges we can build between people different than ourselves. This is where change begins, but the change has to start in ourselves, not waiting for other people to change.
In my book, Mustard Seed Faith, I created a study guide with 36 “Mountain-Moving Ideas” to help you work on yourself to become the person you want to be, and that makes a difference in the world for other people. You can get a copy of the Study Guide here.
I implore you to be a person who makes positive changes in the lives of others. It may seem like a daunting task, however, as with any new habit or goal, the first and most important thing you need to do is to determine that it is worth your best efforts. And then show up every day and do just a little bit more.
With whom and where do you need to start having conversations? How can you change the future? I will close with a quote from Theologian Leonard Sweet, “The future is not something we enter. The future is something we create. Go, and create the change you wish to see.
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