Music often speaks messages of the heart. A song can succinctly pinpoint what volumes of books may endeavor to describe. I haven’t yet met a person that hasn’t been moved by music at least once in their lifetime.
Where words fail, music speaks.Hans Christian Anderson
This post is inspired by such a song (link at the end).
The digital age (or whatever else you’d like to call it) has brought about a fascinating, but dangerous phenomenon, which may have existed before, but certainly wasn’t so obviously displayed as it is now. I don’t know if any scientific studies have been done on the reasoning behind this, but it’d be interesting to investigate.
What is she talking about? you probably are wondering.
It’s this idea that people tend to “say” things digitally that they would rarely, if ever say in person.
I don’t personally have any social media accounts (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.), but I have previously. Of course, I have a cellphone, and I use it to text frequently. I know from experience how easy it is to type something that I wouldn’t have the courage (or audacity?) to say face-to-face or even over the phone.
Why is this? Why is it so easy to defame someone, to shame one’s thoughts, to openly criticize someone’s intentions, without even personally knowing what’s going on behind the scenes?
I’ve scrolled through the comments section of news articles, blog posts, and social media updates, only to turn off the device in disgust and horror. What is it about the digital world that makes us forgot that the people on the other side of the worldwide web are humans just like we are?
This is certainly not the way God intended for us to treat one another, His precious creation.
But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. Do to others as you would have them do to you.Luke 6:27-31 (NIV)
What ever happened to “The Golden Rule”? Yes, it originates from the Word of God, but in times past, it has been a leading principle even in the secular world.
Now, however, many men and women are too intent on “climbing the ladder”, becoming successful, getting themselves noticed, gathering followers — you name it. It’s all about me, me, me. No longer does it matter if someone else is ruined because of our striving to reach the top.
“That’s just how it goes sometimes,” one might say.
Who’s really winning? Who’s really succeeding, if everyone is constantly clamoring to succeed, with no thought of who stands in their way?
And often, it all starts with getting comfortable digitally destroying others.
For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.Galatians 5:14-15 (NIV)
Let us not forget that the words on the screen came from a real person, just like you. No, they may not look the same, talk the same, believe the same… Maybe all you can see are the differences.
But, maybe, we’re all more connected than we realize.
Maybe that person is looking for acceptance just like you are.
Maybe, just maybe, that person has hurts just like you do.
Maybe that person is struggling with addiction, with loss, with grief, with heartache… just like you are.
Maybe, just maybe… that person has a heart just like you do.
So next time your fingers jump to respond in anger, remember how much we’re all connected.