the nest

the nest

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

What I believe...

I'm thinking about taking a breather from my personal FB page.  I love FB.  With family and friends all over the country it has been an amazing way to stay in touch, share ideas, laughs and information. The potential for social media to do good in the world by mobilizing like-minded people to work for change is amazing.  The potential for it to do bad is the same.

The hate and divisiveness that is showing up around the refugee crisis is so disheartening.  I keep sharing information that I secretly hope will encourage those who are afraid to consider what they are really doing when they lump millions of human beings in with a small percentage of extremists.  I should know better.

We see what we want to see and I am as guilty of this as anyone else.  The difference is that our "differences" are so much more present now with social media.  Even 10 years ago, I could be friends with someone who had very different political and social views than I, because we didn't discuss them, and if we did it was a respectful debate/discussion that didn't include inflammatory photos and graphics and manipulated statistics.

This past weekend I was ridiculously weepy~ lots of reasons contributed, but what put me over the edge was the realization that no matter what I believe, there will be other's who don't just disagree, but who will mock my beliefs.  I can either argue with them, ignore them, try to persuade them, or agree to disagree.  There are many things I can agree to disagree on, but some differences are so profound they have completely altered my perception of some of those who cross my "cyber-world."

The thing is, I can't just let it go. No matter what I see to the contrary I still have hope that we can come together as a global community.  I still have hope that the "good" people in the world far out-number the "bad."  I still believe that when faced with an unreasonable amount of evidence that contradicts one's belief system, that one person's mind can be changed.

Here is what I believe ~ take it or leave it.  Mull about it, think about it, comment on it (respectfully), absorb it.  Anyone who chooses to be rude, disrespectful, reactive etc.. will be dropped from any discussion.  I'm not up for it.  Besides, I'd have to unfollow you on FB and since I'm taking a break that would be a nuisance.

~Lumping all Muslims in the same category as ISIS is like lumping all Christians into the same category as the Westboro Church. Most Muslims abhor what ISIS stands for just as most Christians abhor what the Westboro Church stands for.

~The process refugees must go through to enter the US is arduous enough as it is and to suggest that we add a religious "test" to it is contrary to everything I have ever learned or know about "the land of the free." We were founded on principles of religious freedom - to practice the religion of your choosing or not.  We are a nation founded on Judeo-Christian principles, not a Christian nation despite the GOP's current attempts to have us believe otherwise. You know that whole "under God" thing in the Pledge of Allegiance?  Added in 1954. History of the Pledge of Allegiance

~When we reject those who need us most we send them back to the arms of those who hate us and wish us harm. ISIS would like nothing more than for the refugees to be shunned by the rest of the world so they have no where else to turn.

~We can't fight an ideological war just with violence.  We have to educate; we have to offer an alternative world view.  We have to offer a future to those who don't see one for themselves.

~We must examine our own hypocrisy.  If you say you are a Christian, that means you are a follower of Jesus.  Jesus tells us to LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.  He doesn't say "love the neighbors who look like you, believe like you, live like you." Jesus made it a point to preach to more than just the chosen people; sometimes to the dismay of his disciples.  He tells us to LOVE. The Gospel in a word is LOVE - period.

~We can use these horrible events like the bombings in Beirut on Thursday and the killings in Paris last Friday, to separate us.  We can use them as an excuse to close our borders and our homes. We can use them as a reason to turn our backs on a world that doesn't look just like ours.  Or we can use them as an opportunity to unite with our fellow citizens around the world to fight extremism of all kinds.

~Call me naive, innocent, Pollyanna, whatever, but I believe, AND WILL ALWAYS BELIEVE, that love wins. Making decisions out of hate and fear will only lead to more hate and fear.  Making decisions out of love, kindness and compassion will lead to more love, kindness and compassion.  Yes, there are risks to making decisions out of love, kindness and compassion, but those risks pale in comparison to the consequences of making decisions out of hate and fear.

~When we realize that we are in more danger from the terrorists who look just like the "boy next door," or when we accept that we are more at risk of being killed by one of the obscene numbers of guns in our country, then maybe we will stop demonizing all the "others".  THERE ARE NO OTHERS.  We are all one people.    We all breath, eat, sleep, love, hate, live, and die.

It is so easy to be afraid.  It is so easy to react to those things that horrify and frighten us.  Life isn't easy.  It's not easy for the mother with the baby trying to escape to safety.  It's not easy for the homeless vet who's been forgotten.  It's not easy for the teenage boy who's been bullied one too many times.  It's not a contest, but let's be honest - our life in comparison?  Pretty freakin' easy. Challenging ourselves to be courageous and reject hate isn't easy when we are afraid, but it is the right thing to do. I will be grateful everyday for the challenges of life in my world.  I will pray everyday for those whose lives are so hard and I will speak up for them when I can.  I will speak up for the bullied child.  I will speak up for the homeless vet. I will speak up for the Syrian refugee.

Sometimes I see all the hate and violence in the world and I am overwhelmed.  I want to make it all better but I can't.  I need to filter what I see for a while and re-focus on what I can do right here.  How I can serve those right around me, how I can raise my children to be kind, compassionate, tolerant and loving.

I will post this on FB.  I will not discuss it there.  If you have comments or thoughts, please post them here on the blog.  Please do not be rude or disrespectful to me or other's who comment.  I'm thankful for thoughtful discussion.  I appreciate solid data. I look forward to other perspectives and conversation with people willing to be open-minded and consider all perspectives. 


  1. To see and read about Middle Eastern people migrating to places like Germany or Sweden or other places with the intent of decimating the Caucasian race altogether by reproducing with said Caucasians is downright terrifying.

    1. I had no idea what you were talking about Katy, but from what I can find after a brief search, the very idea smacks of white supremacist propaganda. Refugees are fleeing a war torn country seeking a life - much like the life our ancestors fled. Again, we are all one race, the human race. Peace

    2. Quick correction *the life our ancestors were seeking.

    3. Thank you for your perspective, Jane! I don't consider myself "racist" in any sense of the word or a white supremacist at all. I'm on the "why can't we just all get along?" side of the fence. However, as I said, to read that people are motivated by such intent is sickening because - as you said - we're all human. It's terribly frightening that it just can't be that simple though. Thank you for letting me share/vent as Facebook is not the place I find most appropriate. :)

  2. Jane,
    I am truly sorry that anyone has been rude or disrespectful to you. It is inexcusable. I see it happening so often on FB and actively choose to "walk away" from any such discussions. I believe social media has opened up a venue of communication where individuals often engage in behavior that would be consider completely unacceptable in-person. I know your thoughts and viewpoints are heartfelt and well thought out. You should be respected for being "brave" enough to express yourself.
    Lynn Gruber-White

    1. Thanks Lynn but no one was rude or disrespectful to me directly. I'm referring to the over all growing tendency of people to say whatever without really thinking about it online. I simply wanted to be clear that in this forum it would not be acceptable. Peace to you

  3. I love you, Jane!!! <3 Take as much time as you need to keep the love strong in your heart, then come back to the chaos that is Facebook when you arecready, because the world needs your optimism, your spirit, your energy, and most of all, your LOVE!! <3

  4. I love you, Jane!!! <3 Take as much time as you need to keep the love strong in your heart, then come back to the chaos that is Facebook when you arecready, because the world needs your optimism, your spirit, your energy, and most of all, your LOVE!! <3

  5. A friend shared this poem (at bottom) in reference to the whole Muslim refugee halts some are calling for Thought you would appreciate the chilling words. I echo your sentiment about discussion with civility. If people are genuinely scared of ISIS posing as refugees in America, can we discuss it and learn how likely that is before judgement. I, personally, think America has safeguards already in place for that. Bottom line, refugees are in such dire circumstances. I hope we can all join together and help. (From what I understand Europe has a refugee crisis and needs help).

    "First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
    Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me." Niemöller

    1. Thanks for sharing this - I saw it the other day and agree it is chilling and on point. I to think that we already have excellent safeguards in place.