Today is Ash Wednesday and the start of Lent. So the thoughts turn to what to sacrifice for Lent to make my life more 'like God'. Now I thought about giving up Pepsi. Everyone I know will agree: Cut me I bleed Pepsi. But as I was in church last Sunday my choice became clear. I have decided to give up Facebook for the 40 days. Why? Well let me try to sum up.
Three weeks ago I get an invite from my sister to come and see their new home. They moved the end of January to a home nearby. She called, said she had some things for me and wanted help with her webcam. I go over on a Wednesday night and say hi to her and my Brother in Law. His first comment to me was, "I suppose you support that evil Walker." (I live in Wisconsin BTW) My short response was "Yes, and I don't want to get into it." I repeated it 4 times while fixing the webcam. I then went with my sister to take the grand tour of the new house.
When I returned to the living room, my brother in law just kept on. I tried to change the subject to ANYTHING else. Then he just got nasty. There was more name calling. I'm evil, I'm stupid, I'm greedy, I don't know how evil this governor is. I'm nothing but scum on the floor of a bus. I'm trying to ruin their family, etc....
He's a union worker, albeit in a private union. He's not worked a full week in over a year. His hours are such that the union has cut off his health insurance and his pension deposits. When I asked, "What are you paying your dues for if they cannot even guarantee you a full week's work?" I got "Well they need to train journeymen." "How can you hire MORE people if they don't have work for the ones they have?" I got a response of "It's the Republican's fault." (Read: it's my fault he's not working)
So I flee, crying and angry from a home where I was invited. I felt attacked and abused. I was past upset into a panic state; I just wanted out. And when I get home, my sister calls, claiming I should apologize. She says they did nothing wrong. I said, "If you cannot see what you did wrong, there is nothing to talk about." and I hung up.
The assaults continued on Facebook. Outside of this immediate family, everyone has resorted to unwarranted personal attacks. What the hell did I get myself into? How did a simple visit to my Sister turn into an all-out war? When did it become acceptable to invite persons to your home and then attack them? I was taught to treat people that come to your home as guests, especially family. Heck, you have to live with them forever!
While sitting in church, it came upon me. For MY mental health, for MY sanity, there will be no more Facebook during Lent. My Sister, her kids and the rest of the family can sit there and discuss how evil I truly am without me being privy to it. I will use my time to knit baby sweaters for the Stateline Pregnancy Center, who helps out families during crisis pregnancies. I am sure that they will be accepting of some sweaters.
Moral of the story: Take the time in your life this next 40 days to evaluate how you deal with people who don't agree with you. Do you treat them badly, ignore them, or talk to them anyways. This entire drama has taught me an important, but sad lesson. People out there will feel justified in treating others badly - be on your guard.