Are you a helper?

We saw “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” today. I’m not a film critic, but in my opinion, this documentary was well done.

As I watched, a few key points came through. Fred Rogers was deeply influenced by his Christian faith and he was a life-long Republican. He lived those values. He felt all people had value. He knew how to really listen.

I’m disturbed by those who would like to lecture others about how we should follow Mr. Roger’s example when those same people say hateful things about groups of people they disagree with. (Hypocrites!) Or tell us to look for the helpers. (Why not actually BE a helper?)  Or talk about how terrible Christians are and silly people are for following any faith.

But, you know what? Most of that garbage plays out on social networks. People feel free to be as mean, hateful, and ugly as they want online because they don’t have to face the consequences of their words. I’m having a hard time in finding much value in social networks anymore…except in a very focused, narrow way.

It’s too easy to be drawn into the muck with all the negativity. I’d rather find other places to engage – in real life, in well-moderated discussion groups, and other places where thoughtfulness, kindness, free-thinking, common sense, and tolerance of different opinions are considered. (And yes, I do understand there are certain opinions that have no value and those aren’t the ones I’m talking about. People are misleading when they use that argument. It’s an excuse for being jerks to everyone who doesn’t agree with them or won’t go along with what they want.)

I’ll still be writing short book reviews and other random stuff here.

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