Sit or Stand?

Over the weekend the internet blew up with vitriol over Colin Kaepernick of the San Fransisco 49ers sitting during the national anthem.  Kaepernick has stated his reasons for not standing included the systemic injustices inflicted upon blacks and people of color.  

Our culture has provided yet another opportunity to call people names, become increasingly divisive and spin facts. Add it to the list.  Before Colin, Ryan Lochte was the epicenter of social media viciousness for his fabrication/spin on events that occurred in Rio during the Summer Olympics.

I am sure there will soon be another event which causes an uproar and makes people angry.   I guess it is important that we are passionate people but much of our passion appears misguided.  Our passion is most on display when we don't like something.  I wish it weren't so but we easily point out things we dislike vs. things we love (thank you for no dislike button Facebook).  Our pain over something we see, hear or experience comes out in ways that drive us away from one another.  We burn jerseys or call names and drop the mic as if each of these things end any discussion. There is no social media silver bullet for cultural ills.  No amount of blogging (I know), article sharing, finger pointing, name calling internet-trolling action will make a difference.   What will make a difference is how you will live.  I don't care if you support Colin Kaepernick.  I care how you treat people you don't like.  I care how you treat people you don't agree with.  That really matters to me.  Our heart for our fellow man is shown best in how we treat the ''other.''  When our hearts are cold toward people because ''they deserve it'', we have a problem.  Why?  Because I ''deserve it'', and so do you.  Each of us make stands in places we shouldn't.  We all fabricate things, even in the slightest ways, to make us look better.  This isn't the way I want to live. I won't live this way.  I can't live this way.  Is it hard?  Yes.  Do I fail? Just ask my family!  But I would rather fail trying to love people than be a success at winning on the internet and driving others away. Being a success in that is worse than sitting or standing for something you believe in.

© Bob Fabey