With only a few days left until Christmas, it should be the happiest time of the year.
But then you check Facebook to find that your Uncle Fred has called your Aunt Luna a racist bigot, and in response, she’s posted a waving American flag .gif because she’s really more American than he is.
In the words of Ellen Griswold, “I don’t know what to say except it’s Christmas, and we’re all in misery.”
Even with more than 300 days until the 2016 presidential election, we are inundated with political news stories, blogs and social media posts. Every damn minute.
This candidate is a liar! No, that candidate is! This one hates Muslims! But that one hates God!
It’s exhausting. It’s nauseating.
It’s also easy to get sucked down the rabbit hole.
I’ll probably lose most of my thousands of devoted followers for admitting this, but I’m a registered democrat.
I also attend church fairly regularly, and I’m married to a teacher…who is a marine veteran…who owns a lot of guns.
My family is a mixed bag politically, but the majority of my friends are republican.
(Gasp, gasp, gasp!)
HOW do I survive in such chaos?
HOW do I maintain friendships with these people – when our chads dangle so differently?
I try to remember these 3 things.
Go ahead, indulge in all of those juicy articles.
“Like” them if you feel so compelled.
Comment if you must.
But whatever you do, resist the all-encompassing urge to tell your son’s baseball coach to F&ck Off because he’s voting for Bernie.
It’s so hard, I know.
He’s so dumb, and you’re so smart, and you just REALLLLLLLLLLLY want to tell him.
Phone a friend (but make it the right friend.)
Avoid showing-off your new Trump stamp to your sweet old lady neighbor Maria (who happens to be Mexican.)
And don’t call your cousin in college to tell her about how you were born again last night and have since given up drinking, and she should too (if she wants to get into heaven), and by the way, you ARE voting for Ted Cruz right?
It’s important to have friends for different reasons.
For example, I have mom-friends with whom I discuss poop color and antibiotics.
I have fashiony-friends with whom I discuss StitchFix and DID YOU SEE WHAT KIM KARDASHIAN just instagrammed?
I have university faculty friends with whom I discuss politics and world religion.
I have career-minded mentors with whom I discuss sales strategies.
Don’t get rid of the friends who aren’t like you in EVERY SINGLE WAY.
Even the ones who don’t vote like you.
We all need each other, and we’re more alike than we like to think.
Which leads me to my last tip.
Look at the big picture
Sometimes we get too caught up in the details.
When I think about my friends and family, I know that we all want:
- A safe place to live.
- A better education for our kids.
- Our children to be polite, well-mannered, and grateful.
- Our parents and grandparents to be healthy and well cared for.
- To work hard and be rewarded for it.
- To contribute to society in a meaningful way.
- For poverty, suffering and unrest to end.
- To live a full life.
We may differ GREATLY on how to achieve these goals – but we’re all trying to get to the same finish line.
So next time you read, those ANNOYING-A$$ posts from your friend’s husband on Facebook, ask yourself…
Does he REALLY want to shut down the border because he’s an evil, racist, bigoted, non-compassionate a-hole?
Or is it that he’s fearful, like many of us, and he’s offering one (of many) solutions to a bigger problem.
Oh hell, just unfollow him until after November.