This past week I was scrolling Through Facebook and noticed that several of my friends were posting about fall. They were commenting that it was time for the fall decorations. Their posts were about pumpkin spice whatever and some stated they are ready for the cooler weather. In my mind I was like,” slow your roll,” “hold up,” “no, no, no, summer is not over yet!” I even thought about commenting a correction of sorts, you know like, “come on people, let’s not rush the seasons. Let’s hold onto summer for just a little while longer.”
Then my mind went to my love for all things Christmas and my tradition of decorating in early November. And all those who post their displeasure or confusion as to why some are rushing the season. So huh, interesting. I am about to post for all you hurry up and get fall here people, when I just want to roll my eyes at all those why ya gotta rush in Christmas people. And then I saw the flaw in my thinking. I recognized the double standard I was about to post.
Thankfully I saved myself the embarrassment of posting my opinion about rushing in fall leaving summer too quickly. Thankfully I paused and thought about my thoughts before I expressed them. What is my deal? It’s not my responsibility to call anyone out on when they add pumpkin spice to their anything and everything. Just because I prefer a cool crisp to the air while indulging in pumpkin spice lattes’ and pumpkin muffins. Who am I to tell anyone when they should or should not decorate for any season. Especially because of how annoyed I can get when I am questioned about my Christmas decor before Thanksgiving.
This double standard of sorts got me thinking about how we process and share our opinions on, well, just about everything. And how those opinions bring division, brokenness and can at times cause pain. I know you see it because I see it almost everyday. Someone makes a post based on their own experience or observation and someone or several someone’s are there to correct or even discredit the person. And then words start being slung back and forth until the group admin shuts off commenting. It’s like there is this idea that we have the right to tell others how to think, how to live, how to feel. Sometimes it’s a bit out of control, I’ve seen this kind of thing over which hair products are “allowed” for curly hair. I mean, really?
Who do we think we are? really, who do I think I am? What gives me the right? Ok, yes, yes, I have experiences and maybe I can share and help someone else. Maybe you have a great tradition, you share it and others love it and begin to try it. There’s nothing wrong with sharing our experiences, our thoughts and our opinions. As one as we recognize they are just that. So often we read posts on FB and begin to form an opinion without actually having all the facts. Without actually knowing the person or situation. And similarly we post comments that leave a lot of open ended conclusions. And then when it comes to the real stuff, the things in life that really matter, the same thing happens and the pain is grater. The division goes deeper. And we find ourselves separated from friends and family all because we think we are right. Hopefully the process of when summer ends and fall starts would not cause such division or hurt, but this double standard I saw in myself might overflow into other areas and cause confusion and hurt in peoples lives.
I am not always right. I’m probably not even right half of the time. I cannot even pretend that I know and understand your life experiences. I have no idea why you feel the way you do and because it is different from my feeling it does not make it wrong. Yes, there are some things that are right and there are just some things that are wrong and destructive, but Real truth, the kind that matters can only come from God, from His Word.
Social media posts are not a place for me to bring correction or criticize someone else’s choices. Who wants to scroll through and read posts that tell you how you should feel or what your opinion should be or how your thinking is wrong. I don’t! And as a matter of fact, I just roll on by those posts that start to feel like correction. And sadly, more times than not I am forming an opinion on that person based on limited information and without really knowing them, That is why these types of conversations are best had in person, face to face, maybe with some coffee and yes, maybe even a plate of pumpkin spice cookies!
There are some who think it is just wrong and maybe a little ridiculous to decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving. They question and are annoyed by those of us who get our Christmas joy on a little too early!
Yes, I love all things Christmas and I love decorating for the season. But, I start early for some real practical reasons. You don’t know what they are. And if you are the person who is annoyed by my early Christmas, you probably haven’t even asked me why so early? And guess what, at the end of the day does it really matter? Does it matter to you when I decorate? Does it matter to me if you disagree about it? Nope! Not even a little! Unless we allow it, by pushing people to think like we think.
My take away today from my little panic over pumpkins is to think about my words before I speak them or post them. It can be so easy for me to just react and spout off my opinion. But, it is so very important for me to pause, to contemplate and then respond. And…….and…..sometimes my response may be………..wait for it…….to say NOTHING!
What’s your preference? Are you already bringing out those pumpkins and scarecrows? Or are you waiting for a few of those crisp fall evenings before you break out the pumpkin spice candles?