November 03, 2011

Be a Blessing, Not a Complainer

People who use social media like facebook, twitter, etc. know that it can be a mixed blessing. This is true for a number of reasons; one of them is that social media can be a tool for positive blessings, and it can be used as a tool for negative whining and complaints.

Not long ago, I noticed that the posts and status updates of some of my social media friends were really bringing me down. Every post seemed to be a complaint about life, about the government, about society. Eventually, I began to "hide" the updates from the most consistently negative of my friends, as they were starting to make me depressed.

Then there are those friends whose social media updates are a breath of fresh air. Postive. Uplifting. A blessing to the world wide web. Occasionally there would be a prayer request for a hospitalized family member or for getting through a particularly difficult situation (which is certainly fine), but generally speaking, they were free of complaints.

Politicians and government in general get a lot of the complaints. We sure do like to criticize and ridicule our elected officials! The elected officials, likewise, like to criticize and ridicule each other. I wonder, though: are the politicians following our lead, or is it the other way around? We complain about the partisanship and bickering in government; we complain about anyone who thinks differently than we do. If elected officials are there to represent the people, then perhaps their partisanship and bickering are an appropriate reflection of the people they represent.

What I'm saying is that if I want my representatives in government to act more civil toward those with whom they disagree, maybe such behavior needs to start with me.

Last week I spent a little time in downtown Long Beach, and in walking the streets I passed by the Occupy Long Beach camp. A part of me really wanted to engage these folks in conversation, and let them know that I think a lot of the stuff they are trying to bring to society's attention are the same things that God wants brought to our attention.

However, they seem more "anti" than "pro." There is a certain level of anger and even animosity that made me slightly uncomfortable as I passed by. So I smiled and said hello, and kept walking.

It's similar to the situation of the lobster protesters I've written about before.

I know, some things are worth getting angry about. I just think the ratio of positive thoughts and constructive action to complaints and snarkiness needs to be greater than it is. Starting with me.

Update: Here's a news article about a local Long Beach resident who, I think, exemplifies what I'm talking about here.

1 comment:

Dennis Sanders said...


Thanks for this post. You're not the only one feeling Facebook bringin' ya down.