“A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.”Proverbs 18:2
Anyone who has been in any type of political exchange on Facebook has probably seen this Proverb at work. How often do we speak without trying to understand, merely wanting to express our own opinion rather than truly listen and learn from others? Post the statement “Black lives matter,” and see how soon someone responds with “All lives matter.” I actually DID learn from a Facebook post on that subject, and encourage you to open your mind to consider why. I’m not talking about the movement or making any statement one way or another on that. I am talking about the sentiment that expresses that Black lives matter. I believe that Black lives matter, but I also believe that All lives matter, and I did not understand why we couldn’t simply affirm both statements as true. Why do we have to single out black lives? I’ll attempt to summarize the post that changed my opinion. If my wife or child (or someone else I love) is hurting and is feeling unimportant, and they come to me in a moment of vulnerability, looking for support, and ask me “Do I matter to you?,” how would I respond? Would I say to my wife, “Everyone matters to me,” and expect that to comfort her? Of course not! I would affirm to her that she does indeed matter to me, and even though others matter to me as well, I would have no problem highlighting the fact that she matters to me, separate from all others, because she’s hurting and she needs to hear it. So when our black brothers and sisters express the idea that black lives matter, my compassionate response is to affirm them in this, not to respond that all lives matter, even though of course all lives do matter. This example shifted my opinion and helped me to find a new understanding of another perspective. I am thankful for that insight, and hope that it may open the eyes of others as well.