Friends and Politics 

I don’t talk much about politics. You won’t hear me bring it up in casual conversation and you won’t see any Facebook posts about it on my wall. Is it that I’m not passionate about the issues? Or perhaps have I just seen too many relationships pointlessly devoured by the vicious nature of political rhetoric and debate? Am I called to “prove my point” or am I called to love people?

As evident by sarcastic memes/GIFs, sly remarks and biased videos flooding social media, tensions between those who support opposing political parties seem to be at an all-time high. Although for this particular upcoming election many seem to be bonding over the mere fact that they aren’t exactly thrilled over any candidate, generally speaking however, politics and friendships typically go together like oil and water–they just don’t mix. What begins as a respectful, ideological discussion of opposing views between friends too often ends in bitter disputes and enmity.

When election time rolls around, why do we suddenly place politicians and platforms over the value of relationships and friends and family? Are we giving these systems more value than they deserve? There are several points to consider before you cut ties or create relational divides with those you say you care about, solely over who or what they support.

Friendships Were Made For This

What good would friendships be if we all had the same exact views and saw life the very same way? The very beauty of friendships is diversity. We need the insight of other people to view and understand the world from a complete perspective. True friendships can open our minds and create a safe environment where thoughts and ideas can be exchanged and learned without fear of judgement. Mutual understanding can occur and progress can flourish. Because of its nature, social media is not the best platform for political discussions.

No Political Party is Perfect

Surprise, surprise..Politicians are known to lie. They are carefully and purposefully trained to be adaptable based on polls. Agendas are declared and promises are made with a specific goal in mind: to gain votes from those who support the same issues they value. From past experience, once a President is voted in, how many items on their agendas come to pass? How many promises do they actually follow through with? How many candidates flip-flop on their standing on issues even in mid-race? How sad it is to sacrifice long-standing relationships over the failing promises of a politician.

You Are Not Going to Change Anyone’s Opinion

Contrary to popular belief, going on a political rant is most likely not going to change anyone’s opinion. Most people already have a preconceived belief toward a certain political party and/or candidate. You posting comments all day long on your Facebook in opposition to their ideas won’t win you any points. In fact, it will probably get you “unfollowed” or even “unfriended” and you will lose all position of influence you may have had with that person to begin with. Besides, we all know the media is excellent at twisting truth and pushing their own agendas, and people tend to be professionals at sharing this skewed propaganda. Where is the truth? Very few people do their own actual research. Save your time and energy to seek wisdom, truth and promote unity among your friends and family.

We are all longing for a functional world filled with progress and peace; fighting about how to get there is only going to push that dream further away. My advice to you; never allow politics to get in the way of relationships with people. Leave your relationships outside the voting booth.

 

Until next time,
Patricia

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