The Best Thing About Political Posts

Not going to lie. I mean I could. Some of you would believe me. But then again some of you would call me out. And some of you might not do it so nicely. According to an article in Psychology Today, your reaction would depend on whether or not you agreed with my lie. Not whether or not it was a lie, but whether or not you agreed with it. Now that’s something to reflect upon, isn’t it?

At any rate, here it goes…

Some of you people are sucking all the fun out of social media.

Where are your puppy pictures?

Where are the pictures of your grandbabies?

Where are the funny stories about your children?

And how about those coworkers of yours? Where are the heartwarming stories about how they make your job so meaningful?

I’d like to see what you ate for dinner.

Sweaty workout pictures wouldn’t even be triggering at this point.

I’ve got to tell you, I am really drained by political posts. I’ve stayed strong for as long as I could, but geez, a person can only take so much.

Now don’t get me wrong.

I don’t mind being challenged. (All right, sometimes I do, but I understand, on an intellectual level, it’s good for me.) It’s not comfortable, BUT (and this is a huge but) if it’s done in a respectful manner, I can deal with it.

If you are sharing FACTUAL information, I have no complaints. (Okay, maybe I will have some, but the hubby is usually the sole benefactor of those.)

A FB friend recently shared a post, adding her own personal message. I believe she introduced it with

“Something to think about…”

The writer of the original post shared her struggle with a certain hot button topic. She didn’t throw out accusations. She didn’t attack. She used kind language. She didn’t use YOU statements. She used I statements.

I appreciated hearing her journey of thought. Now truthfully, our views were similar, but I reread it with the goal of hearing it from The Other Side. I don’t believe it would have changed my mind, BUT it would have given me a different way of thinking about the topic. And perhaps, it would have provided an understanding of The Other Side.

Then there was a post that utilized a T-Chart. Teachers love a good T-Chart. I mean it’s not quite as sexy as a Venn Diagram, but it’s not bad. (Probably due to the lack of curves.)

I think it looked something like this, but I’m old and my memory isn’t what is use to be, so it might be a bit off.

Candidate #1Candidate #2
Glamour Shot Photo Picture of candidate crawling out of tent on the final morning of a week long trip in the wilderness
Loves the holidays! Buys gifts for the underprivileged. Buys gifts for overprivileged. Buys gifts for those who don’t want gifts.Bah Humbug! Was overheard (back in October of ’75) complaining about holiday music being played before Thanksgiving!
Supports animal shelters! Donates squeaky toys and treats for all breeds of dogs!Dog eater! (Typically Chicago Style, but has been known to eat those of the chili/cheese variety as well.)
Plants a tree every Arbor Day!Cuts down trees and uses them for firewood. Selfish!

And then there was a post which proclaiming you could not vote a certain way and call yourself a Christian.

Yikes. Where do I start? Snarky Karen (I try to keep her under wrap, but sometimes she escapes) wants to respond with massive amounts of sarcasm. But that would not be productive, because the point is, actually the points are (I have a couple), as follows: 1.) churches are going to be awfully empty if sinners aren’t allowed in, and 2.) who was the guy who said, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone”?

Exactly.

Have you noticed there’s quite a few posts shared from questionable sources lately? Seems like the verification step is being skipped before the share button is being hit. Unfortunately, I have this compulsive urge to fact check and source check posts. (Occupational hazard. I taught writing for many years and ‘using trusted sources’ was a graded skill on every single informational writing rubric for every single student every single year. That’s a lot of everys.)

If something is true, reputable sources will confirm it. If reputable sources cannot be found, chances are IT’S NOT TRUE.

No matter how much you want it to be.

Not even if you wish real hard and your heart is pure.

The ease at which we spread false information is quite troubling, but it also sparked a brilliant idea.

What if news time was earned by watching (or reading) an equal amount of time from a source that was as far to the left (or right) as the preferred source was from the right (or left)? Wouldn’t that be something?

Try it. I dare you.

I offer this handy dandy little chart to assist you.

I’m not against biased sources provided the information is factual and the bias is recognized. The problem lies in not knowing your source’s bias. It’s actually quite entertaining, in a soul sucking type of way, to see how different sources address news.

Another friend shared a post from a news source, and one of their ‘friends’ (using this term real loosely here) responded with FAKE NEWS. Which, in my book, would be totally acceptable if it were actually fake news. However, in this case, the source was reliable, as was pointed out by another party replying to the FAKE NEWS guy. She even screenshot the handy dandy above chart and included it in her reply.

On a positive note, it turns out my mom was right once again. It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it. Biased sources use loaded words that take advantage of emotions, and I hate it when my emotions are being taken advantage of. Gets my dander up and makes me quite combative.

Personally, I have really begun to appreciate factual news with minimal bias. Since I’ve changed my evil ways, my desire to throw things at the TV screen has decreased immensely and that pulsing vein on the side of my forehead isn’t nearly as noticeable.

Even though I may not like what is being reported, I understand it’s truthful.

I’ve begun to think of sources of factual, minimally biased information like a good friend. You know, the friend who tells you you have a piece of spinach stuck in your teeth or the friend who lets you know orange really is not your color. That kind of friend.

The next time I post, the election will be history. Some of us will be relieved. Some of us will require ice cream. Or wine. A nice Malbec would be lovely.

Whatever the outcome, I hope respect, integrity compassion, and humility are on display.

(Oh, and about the title…the best thing? Other than we should be getting a reprieve shortly, I can’t really come up with anything. Honest. No lie.)

Something to Read

Funny in Farsi

by Firoozeh Dumas

A few weeks back, a friend stopped by with stacks of books for me to rifle through! Funny in Farsi was one of my picks. I chose it because it had the word ‘funny’ in the title. That’s it. I’ve been reading too many ‘think deeply’ and ‘feel strongly’ books as of late. And even though I’d already gone through my ‘memoir’ stage this year, I was desperate for a little humor in my life, so a funny memoir it was. I loved it. If I were to write a book, I would hope to write a book similar in style. I laughed. A lot. And the best parts? I gained insight into a different culture, and I was able to see the world from a perspective unlike my own. And that, is never a bad thing.

Something to Eat

Sesame Ginger Soy Curls

by Kitchn

Okay. I get it. This may not look all that appetizing. And I’m pretty confident my mother-in-law would not have approved (wouldn’t quite meet her expectations of a colorful presentation), but you do remember that saying, don’t you? You know, the one about not judging a book by its cover? Well, this is a great example of that. This was yummy. So yummy that even though the recipe says ‘serves four’, it has never served more than two. No leftovers. Ever. Now, I do change up the recipe a bit…I don’t make the ‘salad’ part. Instead, I chop up some napa cabbage and shred a few carrots. Once the soy curls are all crispy and brown, I remove them from the pan and throw in the cabbage and carrots. (Gently, mind you. I am a neat cook.) And lately, I’ve discovered that doubling the marinade and drizzling it on the veggies while they cook, creates an even more intense flavor .

Something to Ponder

The wise understand, but fools follow the reports of others.

Tibetan Proverb

Well, that’s it for the week. I’d love to hear your thoughts. Especially if they are nice ones. And if you haven’t already done so, VOTE!

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