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On Friendship, Tolerance and (uh-oh) Politics

September is the month when the political ads start coming out full force.  TV, radio, mailers, yard signs, you name it.  And, of course, on social media.

tolerance and politics

Over the past decade I’ve come to realize how much more tolerant I am of opposing political views held by long-term friends than I am of those held by strangers or more peripheral contacts.  I’m looking at you 90% of my Facebook!

Why is that?

Well, I guess it’s because I know their stories and what makes them, THEM.  They’re not just the person who supports some “other” candidate or agenda, but the friend that comforted me when I first got my heart broken.  The friend that laughed with me that time we got the car stuck in the car wash.  The friend that picks right back up with me even though I don’t call or reach out nearly enough.  

They’re people who worked all kinds of extra and odd hours or jobs to put their kids through school or pay for travel sports.  The people dealing with the chronic stress and heartbreak of critically ill kids or parents with dementia.  And the people I’ve come to know and love.  They are MINE.

So on this poignant day and during this political season, when you come across the inevitable heated post by some random on your social, try to remember that, they too, are likely somebody’s “SOMEONE”.  Their kid, their parent, their friend – the person they laugh, cry and navigate this life with.

While I personally recommend refraining from political posting; if you feel you just MUST be heard via the venue of social media, try to adhere to this advice:

  • Post in the positive.  What or who you DO SUPPORT and WHY.  Not why someone or something else is WRONG.
  • Keep it short.  If you need to lay out a whole manifesto,  that’s what blogs are for.  Ha!
  • Seek out pages and threads that are dedicated to political posting and post there, not on your own page.

As for me, I think I’ll be snoozing a lot of people for the next two months.  Anyway, thanks for humoring me on this topic!  Be a friend.  Be tolerant.  VOTE.

2 thoughts on “On Friendship, Tolerance and (uh-oh) Politics”

    1. Yes, I’m always curious to know WHY people support what they do but so often that isn’t what is discussed and conversations just devolve into a gripe-fest.

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