I watched a family of geese with a small gosling in tow as they tried to cross a four-lane road today. It was a forty-five-mile-per-hour zone with cars zipping by in both directions, and I held my breath in dread that they would meet a terrible fate.
I gently hit my brakes and begged aloud in my car that no one would hit them, and was surprised to see that everyone did the same thing. They slowed. Even stopped. Right smack in the middle of a four-lane road with a green light.
I don’t think my heart could have handled any other outcome honestly. At least not today.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need the reminder that people are often much kinder than we would expect, or at least capable of it anyway. And I don’t say that because of the work I do and often seeing the worst of what humanity can do to each other. We are all capable of the worst things, given the right mix of terrible circumstances, and if you disagree, then perhaps you have been fortunate enough to never have to learn otherwise.
I’m talking about what we see online, in the lion pit of social media, where vicious things are posted, things I highly doubt a person would say if they had to look into the eyes of the person they were saying it about.
Some of it is just outright mean. And that feels like the most elementary way I can say it, but hey, maybe we need to go back to basics a bit.
I don’t care how entitled someone feels to their own opinion or perception of someone else, it doesn’t give you the right to be mean. Not even if that person is someone who will likely never see your post.
It’s not ok. Especially not in the name of Jesus, the One who embodied love and gentleness and said hard things in the most compassionate way. It’s never justified. Two wrongs will never equal a right, and I really hope that if we were in elementary school, I would have gotten up and left your lunch table.
Our words have an impact far greater than we often realize. They “create worlds that we will be forced to inhabit.”
Let’s try and make a kinder one. If we can all stop for geese, surely we can do better for each other.