“I watch the ripples change their size
but never leave the stream of warm impermanence” *
Change is constant. We talked about that in church today. Change can be slow, but it can also be really fast. For many, myself included, change is difficult. But here we are again, entering another season of change.
This morning, Mitch and I sang some spirituals at church with a wonderful local group, FAITHCHICAGO. One of the songs was a beautiful, heartfelt version of Kumbaya…which reminded me of a person who’s sick, lonely, needing hope, healing, encouragement, love, and acceptance. It’s heartbreaking that there are people who feel this way, and they feel alone. We all know a few people who are feeling this way.
The other song was a lively version of This Little Light of Mine…just singing our praises for God’s love. It was so neat to see the entire congregation, standing up, clapping their hands, singing along with us. Today was our last chance to sing and share in church for Black History Month, and I’m honored that we were asked to participate.
A close friend of mine is leaving Facebook for a while…I understand her reasons. We can all agree that social media is a fantastic way to keep in touch with people that are hard to see in person. It’s a great way to find some words of wisdom, or cute videos when you need to smile. It can be an excellent marketing tool as well. But unfortunately, it’s also a forum of so much negativity and hate, and I’m not just talking about trolls.
Lately, I’ve been using Facebook as a place to keep in touch with the people I love and to watch the occasional puppy and nature video. Beyond that, it’s so easy to fall into a rabbit hole of perusing the posts and photos other people’s lives, and they always look so perfect, completely void of the “messiness” of life. That always bothered me. My life isn’t perfect. I know I’m blessed to be above the ground, eating and having a roof over my head, but every day there are challenges that make me want to bang my head against the wall. Maybe I can talk about those in a future post. It will be a long one…
It’s so unrealistic to look at a person’s page, and think…Wow, this person literally has it all. How can this be so? Facebook to me looks like the vortex of unhealthy comparison. I’ll bet it’s a source of strain for a lot of young people too. “Why don’t I have more ‘likes?!’”
Comparison. It’s a major flaw of mine. It’s better than when I was a kid, but I still do it. That needs to change. It’s not going to be easy.
So when I saw my friend was leaving Facebook, it reminded me, number one: of how important she is in my life, and that I need to actually go and see her, and two: I need to do the same for all the people who are important in my life, and number 3: realize that this is what matters. We are all different, we are all the same. It’s pointless to compare. I just need to be there for the people who need me, and I need to reach out to them – face to face.
That’s a change for me. It’s always hard to get out of my comfort zone and venture out, but always worthwhile.
I’ll still use Facebook as a source of marketing, words of wisdom, puppy videos and keeping in touch with people, but my friend, and Black History Month itself, is also a reminder of me to walk out the door, and spend some real time, hanging out with real, physical people – talking to them, sharing stories, struggles and maybe a little wine.
* “Changes” © David Bowie, 1971, RCA