No more thoughts and prayers? What do they mean by saying no more thoughts and prayers? Doesn’t my faith matter? Do they think they can do more than God can do? That some serious bull…
Before you get worried and give up on my blog, those weren’t my words.
Those were the words of one of those anonymous people called strangers that exist in the imperfect world of social media. They were upset about someone who used #nomorethoughtsandprayers after, and this pains me to say, the most recent school shooting.
I didn’t know this person as well as I know my neighbors, which to be perfectly honest isn’t all that well. Regardless, I felt compelled to respond because that’s what we are conditioned to do by social media. I wanted to tell this stranger their theology was wrong, or that their faith wasn’t really faith, or that their words were all sorts of unkind things, but I realized I would have been more wrong than they were.
If I’m going to be completely honest with myself, this person actually taught me something valuable and something I need to learn and relearn all the time.
The fact is when I feel angry, I just feel angry. When I feel disgusted, I just feel disgusted. When I feel frustrated, I just feel frustrated. I hardly take the time to discover the source of my feelings.
You see, this person did something most of us don’t take the time to do. They actually took the time to discover why they feel the way they feel. Simply going beyond our feelings would go a long way in making this world a better place. However, this person didn’t go far enough.
The other part of that equation is finding the empathy to feel the way the other person feels. In this instance, why do you think they used that particular hashtag? What is it about their experience that causes them to disregard the phrase “thoughts and prayers.”
It’s so easy to say, “What about my God?” “What about my faith”?
Yeah, what about it? It seems some people aren’t convinced of your God, and they are tired of things being the way they are and nobody doing anything about it.
If I can understand why I feel what I feel it’s just a small step to feel how someone else feels. The key is to not do it in a judgmental way but to suspend judgment and try to see their perspective.
I suck at golf. Let’s just get that out there. But that doesn’t mean it can’t teach me something about life.
My dad tried to teach me how to golf. I couldn’t really hit the ball hard, but when I finally got to the green my dad showed me how to putt. He said the key was that can’t just look at the shot from your side. You have to walk around the hole and look at it from the other side. It’s only from the other side that you get a real perspective.
Here is my suggestion to the stranger and his feelings. Try restating the question from the other person’s perspective. What happens when you start the sentence, “When I use the hashtag nomorethoughtsandprayers I feel…” and finish the sentence with how you imagine they feel. Who knows what you might learn about someone else and their story.
The walk around to the other side is a long way, but it’s worth it.