Let’s Try to See the Forest

So, I wrote about choosing sides recently. I talked about how the world seems to make a sport of choosing sides and how we should really work to learn from each other. I made the analogy of choosing sides in gym class as a starting point. You can read it here if you want.

Some posts land well with readers. Other times, it’s crickets. I write what I feel- not looking for affirmation or debates- just putting thoughts in the space for others to consider. This one received lots of comments- folks who understood what I was trying to say.  It was shared several times on Facebook, which isn’t unusual.

I was surprised by a comment on the post this morning from someone I don’t know. From what I can tell, he is the “friend of a friend” on Facebook. This is the unedited comment:

“Give me a break, this is the whole everyone gets a trophy mentality and it’s wrong”

It didn’t hurt my feelings that he didn’t like my post. I didn’t write it for him- I don’t even know him. The thing that bothered me was that his response didn’t fit my piece at all. I mean- if you’re going to go to the trouble of making a rude response, shouldn’t you at least read and understand the entire thing? Then, disagree all you want.

I’ve thought about his comment. The negative things always seem to stick in our minds longer than the positive ones- ever notice that? I have a couple thoughts of my own.

  • Maybe he only read the first paragraph where I brought up the whole “choosing sides in gym class” analogy. I never once mentioned anything about wanting a trophy.
  • Maybe he didn’t comprehend the piece. I’m a reading teacher. I work with people every day who have difficulty with context clues and understanding figurative language. Maybe he did think the whole thing was about gym class.
  • Maybe he honestly doesn’t want to learn about other viewpoints.
  • Maybe he thinks people who have other opinions are wrong.
  • Maybe he can’t understand why I would like to see everyone working together to make this world a better place.
  • Maybe he doesn’t know and love someone different from himself.

Whatever the reason, I thanked him for reading and sharing his opinions. That was the entire thought behind the post to begin with- to hear and appreciate the viewpoints of others. I sincerely wished him a great day. Maybe he’ll read another post that I write and love it. Or he’ll always be on the “other side.” It’s okay.

Here’s another analogy for you to consider. Have you ever heard this one?

“He can’t see the forest for the trees.”

As for me, I want to see the whole forest. How about you?

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