Well Facebook, it’s been fun

Well Facebook, it has been fun.  You have helped keep me up to date on family and friends, helped share moments of joy and hope, and sometimes sorrow, with those I love and deeply care for.  Seeing pictures of my children and grandchildren is one of the greatest joys in life, short of being there in person of course.  Facebook allows me to stay connected to my community, and it is a great community.  It is a community that models what I believe Canadians truly are – loving and supporting people, casting off any differences in order to be there for each other in any way we are able.
When tragedies like the Fort McMurray Fire happens, we see our great country pull together in support, and social media such as Facebook are invaluable at those times.  People of every province and territory, and every background uniting with an outpouring of love and support.  We can celebrate the wonderful country we have, and just how blessed we truly are as a nation.  We can hold up our response as a beacon of light at a time of darkness.
And then we have those that use it to bash, and hate, and manipulate, and even outright lie, to support their political bias.  Although they are a very small minority in our wonderful land, they are the unfortunate part of our society, preying on other’s tragedy.

In the past year we have had 4 elections affecting the west – the Federal election, as well as Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.  We are represented by one Liberal Party, one NDP party, the conservative based Saskatchewan Party, and a PC party – a good balance in the west one might think.  There was a time when elections occurred, some were pleased with the result, some were not.  We would kid each other for a bit, we got over it quickly, and moved on to see how things would go – getting on with life.
But now, unfortunately, it is all about the anger.  Too many people can’t, or won’t, accept what democracy is, and instead choose to feed like-minded people with hurtful propaganda that they can share, and rejoice in their anger, resentment, and lunacy.  Much of the anti-Trudeau, anti-Notley, anti-Wall, and anti-Pallister posts are exaggerations, manipulations, or flat out lies, but all those angry people do not need truths or facts, just something hateful that they can share, assuming it supports whatever bias they have.  On an aside, if you have to make stuff up to support your argument, you don’t have an argument.
And our own politicians of every stripe can share the blame for this current attitude – they have taught us well how to slander and attack those who don’t share their views, and we mimic it.
But the saddest part is that many of those angry people, though it is a minority of people I connect with on Facebook, know they are offending or hurting family and friends.  They know it, but don’t care, or at least don’t care enough.  Creating and/or sharing hate is more important than caring about offending those they claim to love and care for.  Most of these posts only serve to confirm the poster’s closed mind, and their inability to think rationally, and instead are motivated by the emotion our country seems to enjoy so much right now – hating.  It is not a great way to live life.  Living with a daily rage is not living.  Scanning Facebook for negative things to share is not life giving for anyone – neither the poster or the receiver.  Here’s a simple test – when what you are about to post says, “share if you agree”, ask if it is about something you love (mother, brother, sister, etc.), or about someone or something you hate (almost always political).  Or even simpler – before you hit ‘post’, ask yourself – will this message offend any of those you love and care for?  You now have a choice to make.
I love my family and friends, and I want to continue to do so.  I am taking the easy way out by faulting to ‘ignorance being bliss’, and will soon suspend my Facebook account so I don’t have to see those that I love and care for display their lack of love or care for me or for others.
I pray that you can find peace in life, so much peace that there is too little time or space for hate and ignorance.  I pray that when you are faced with the choice between two evils, you will pick neither (Charles Spurgeon).  I pray that your love for each other will triumph over the desire to share hate and offend others.

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