Let’s begin with Facebook. I love Facebook. Why? Two words: connection and inspiration. Not only am I connected with family and friends who I don’t get to see as often as I would like, I am inspired daily by posts by amazing people (that I know and do not know) and I also have cultivated new friendships – like Esther, from England, who I ‘met’ on Elizabeth Gilbert’s Facebook page. Elizabeth’s daily Facebook posts (sometimes inspirational, sometimes funny, sometimes thought provoking) are something I look forward to reading every day and not just her posts, but additionally the comments from people around the world. She has an eclectic group of followers. One of my best friends, Annette, Esther, and I often ‘hijack’ (aka: commandeer, seize, take over – lol) Elizabeth’s page with comments and ‘conversation’ about what the post brought up for us. We actually call Elizabeth our BFF-IOH (Best Friend Forever – In Our Heads; yeah, I made that one up – it’s awesome, right?) because we are so inspired by her and her words resonate with us so strongly that we want to hang out with her and be with that Big Magic.
So, how the hell does Trump figure into this post? I don’t like him. At all. Not one little bit. I think he is a disrespectful, mean person who is doing whatever he can to get attention (think about a child who can’t rationalize that any bad behavior is okay as long as it gets them attention). I do not think he would be a good representation of America or the people in our country and I am doing my best to not lean into the fear of the thought of even the slightest possibility of him becoming our President.
Well, this morning I am reading a comment from my wonderful friend Esther – on Elizabeth’s page, from a ‘conversation’ that Annette, Esther and I are having – and it was in response to Elizabeth’s question about our favorite badass people in our lives. And Esther was writing about how she thinks Annette and I are badass and she wrote: “Part of my heart belongs to your country (she is married to an American) so it hurts me when people stereotype Americans based on some of the reactions to the refugee crisis and well, Trump.” That comment stopped me in my tracks – wait, what? Am I so naïve that I didn’t know that people in other countries judge us based on a person that surely does not represent the majority of Americans who I know and love?
And what about the refugee crisis? Although the way Americans view the refugee situation varies from person to person for a variety of personal reasons, I’d rather think about what amazing Americans are doing about the refugee situation. For example, in my community of Concord, NH, we have wonderful organizations that support refugees. And what about what Elizabeth Gilbert and her friends (Cheryl Strayed, Rob Bell, Glennon Doyle Melton , and Brene Brown) did last month? They raised OVER one million dollars for refugees in less than 36 hours – yes – one million in 36 hours – asking people to donate no more than $25 each. And I believe there were over 40,000 people that contributed and though I do not know how many were from America, I do know that Facebook, and other social media, connected people to the idea of coming together to make a significant difference in the lives of refugees.
After I read Esther’s comment, I went to meditate and I was inspired to write this blog to ask for us to reflect upon what we can do, every day, to set an example, to take action, to be connected and inspired – in a way that makes a difference – in our own lives and the lives of our local and international communities. And to people in other countries who think poorly of Americans because of people like DT (sometimes I just don’t even want to say or type his name) and situations like the refugee crisis, I implore you to take time to get to know us. I can guarantee you that there are so many Americans – like me and Annette and Elizabeth and Rob and Cheryl and Brené and Glennon – who care. We really, really care about the refugee crisis, about our country, about important policies and about leaders who are contributing to a better world. Whether it is Facebook or another form of social media, we can all find a way to connect to someone we would not normally connect with and create an exchange to learn more about people in other countries. We can agree to disagree and in the process learn and grow. We can discover what others love about their country and our country and how we can all contribute to a better world. We certainly can travel to accomplish this; however, the beauty of the Internet is that we can find that connection in the comfort of our own home.
My Living Life, Making Choices Facebook page – where 587k people from around the world connect and where I post beautiful photos and quotes, to hopefully inspire and create time for reflection about how we live our lives and the choices we make.
Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED Talk and Facebook page. If you are not already a fan of her (I mean, who isn’t), then check these out today.
Esther’s inspirational page and her most recent blog post about abundance.