I’m not very nimble with social media – getting better but still not so good. Memes and emoji’s and
posts and pics, not to mention the way some commenters have completely closed themselves off from
the idea that someone else may have made a point that isn’t exactly as they would have said it
themselves. And I’m not just talking about those ‘on the other side’ who disagree with me. It makes me
uncomfortable when someone whom I know to have a good heart, and who values kindness, chops
someone off or disparages them for expressing themselves. I am so put off when my friends try to score
FaceBook points by belittling our current government leaders with unkind playground slurs and body
shaming. By all means, express yourself about the (un)suitability of contemporary or potential leaders
but don’t talk about their neck skin, their children or their height/weight/hairline. It’s not just mean; it
steals your integrity and minimizes your reach.

I’m thinking of three people on my FB friends list. I haven’t kept up my friendship or family ties with
them over the years, but all three requested friending when I first started on FB. One is a nephew from
my first marriage whom I friended and the first post I saw called people like me libtards. Well, I
unfriended him immediately as I had no interest in seeing his disrespect on my FB stream. He emailed
me, saying it wasn’t personal. Well, just no. But the other two, one a cousin and one my first friend at
age five, consume only fake news and memes that are simply propaganda. I keep them as FB friends and
sometimes read their posts. Of course, they think I am the one consuming fake news. These people are
neither unkind nor stupid. They also don’t call me names. If they stay, one day perhaps I can be part of
their return to truth in news instead of truthiness. Meantime, a gentle reminder to check out
snopes.com once in a while is in order.
There is so much going on politically right now, that scrolling down your FaceBook feed can really set
you off. I don’t want to be angry all the time and I don’t want to get in the habit of letting unkindness
into my heart. I’m not saying that we can’t get a chuckle out of a droll cartoon or wickedly funny jab at
the administration in Washington. How would we have made it through this past campaign, election and
‘government’ without the comedic stylings of late-night? But we ourselves can be funny without being
rude and insightful without turning nasty. Pay attention to which of your friends can keep you informed
and entertained without the slurs and lack of empathy for the misled. Take your lessons there. Aspire to
disagree without throwing stones. In time, we will replace all or most of the unsuitable elected officials
and begin to repair our democracy. We need you be ready to proffer a hand to those who are currently
being deceived. Don’t allow your heart to harden; take lessons from the best and take the high road.

Lyssa Andersson
UUCGL PresidentBoard of Trustees
May, 2018