Divisive…that’s the word that came to my mind as I was running this morning.  It all too often describes our world.  It is true that I prefer love and encouragement and peace.  I completely understand the need to take a stand or knee for what you believe.  I am extremely grateful for the contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. and his unwillingness to accept that things had to be the way they were.  But I don’t see Martin Luther King Jr as divisive.  I don’t see Harriet Tubman as divisive.  I don’t see Rosa Parks as divisive.  I don’t see Jesus as divisive.  I see a drive to bring people together and a refusal to accept the divide.  The willingness to risk their lives to bring people together in love is beyond comprehension (and many more like them). 

So what do I mean by divisive?  I mean those that purposely put their agendas ahead of people.  I mean those that aren’t willing to hear anyone else…it’s my way or the highway.  I mean those that post hateful comments to “prove their point” or to inflate their ego.  I mean those that could find common ground with others, but instead choose to find fighting ground.  I find this mostly on social media.  There are short, quick snapshots (memes, gifs, etc.) that are meant to be jabs at other that have a different opinion.  I suppose they are “meme warriors” because that is what you see constantly.  Those do not help start a conversation but are great at starting an argument.  They also are wonderful at finding out who thinks your opinion is just the best (insert eye roll here).  In school, these may have been bullies…or at least it feels like bullying… 

So, what is the opposite of divisive? 

Listening (really listening to those that differ in opinions, lifestyles, politics, beliefs, or anything)…

Loving (even loving those that we see as unlovable…you know…loving like Jesus)…

Respecting (offering respect to others because…I don’t know…they are people)…

These are places that I choose to start.  I am grateful for the opportunity to voice opinions…I just think there is a better way…and I don’t think that divisive is the way to do it.  Just my thoughts on this day when we remember the contribution of a Baptist Preacher that refused to accept the divide.


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