I’ll tell you what, I think the Internet can bring out the absolute best — and the absolute worst — in people.
Last week, a post by the one and only, Ellen Degeneres went viral. She was at a Cowboy’s football game, sitting next to George Bush, laughing, having a beer and watching the game.
The post was a clip of her monologue on her show about the backlash she received about that photo. It was this beautiful, moving speech about kindness. Here’s the transcript:
“During the game, they showed a shot of me and George laughing together, and so people were upset. They thought, ‘Why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president?’…Here’s the thing. I’m friends with George Bush. In fact, I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have…We’re all different, and I think we’ve forgotten that that’s okay that we’re all different…But just because I don’t agree with someone on everything doesn’t mean that I’m not going to be friends with them…When I say, ‘be kind to one another,’ I don’t only mean the people that think the same way that you do. I mean be kind to everyone.”
For the first 12 hours or so — everyone came out in support of Ellen, praising her and supporting her bridge-building efforts. Many of her celebrity friends — including Reece Witherspoon and Kristen Bell — were championing her as this pillar of tolerance and acceptance and someone to aspire to be.
But quickly, the tone did a complete 180 – and the media and celebrities swiftly lit their torches, grabbed their pitchforks and mobbed her as an ignorant bimbo who supports an “unconscionable” human.
Mark Ruffalo brought Ellen to task with one tweet: “Sorry, until George W. Bush is brought to justice for the crimes of the Iraq War, (including American-lead torture, Iraqi deaths & displacement, and the deep scars — emotional & otherwise — inflicted on our military that served his folly), we can’t even begin to talk about kindness.”
Here’s the thing — I’m not going to get political tonight. Because frankly, that’s the entire point.
Watching this whole mess unfold this week just absolutely broke my heart, that the state of this world has gotten to the point where we can’t even agree on kindness anymore.
Everything we see on the news, on Twitter, on our timelines — is driven by negativity and fueled by criticism, and frankly — hatred. Our language has become so abhorrent — this Ellen witchhunt is the perfect example of just how far we’ve strayed in our quick-to-crucify world.
I mean, it is the norm now to exaggerate, smear – even lie – in order to destroy a person to score points for their political cause. Both sides do it, and it just makes me so sad.
But I’ve got to tell you — the timing of this Ellen episode last week was pretty uncanny, because at that same time, I had been researching the Five Love Languages for an upcoming post.
And if you’re unfamiliar with what those are, they’re how you best interpret love: The five languages are:
1) Words of Affirmation
2) Quality Time
3) Physical Touch
4) Acts of Service
5) Receiving Gifts
And in case you were wondering, my top love language is Words of Affirmation, followed by Quality Time, and then third is Physical Touch. If you’re interested – you can find out your love language here: ((not sponsored)).
But as I was researching the love languages, and watching this whole debacle with Ellen unfold, it just became increasingly obvious that the world is in desperate, desperate need of more love language.
The thing about love languages is that their predominant connotation is in the realm of romantic love. But I’d like to shift the thinking — for this situation’s sake — to the global sense.
I mean, what if we were to all think about the different ways that we can best express love in our communities, to better the world at large, and make it a better place?
If you’re a words of affirmation person — what about going out of your way to write a letter of gratitude to a soldier overseas? Or send an email to your child’s teacher expressing your appreciation.
Quality time? How about volunteering at a nursing home? Or candy striping at a children’s hospital? Or even just showing the kids in your life that you like to be around them with your time and undivided attention.
Physical touch? How about volunteering with at-risk youth, or a Big Brother program where you can be there for someone who needs it most.
Acts of Service? Volunteering to clean up the park. Or working at a soup kitchen.
Gift giving? There are so many donation centers to help the homeless. Or my personal favorite: donating baby supplies at prolife crisis pregnancy centers for expectant mothers.
Whatever your love language is – the world needs more of it.
We’ve got to combat this oppressive cloud of hatred and negativity that’s thrown our way every single day in the media, on the internet, in the hallways at school.
Ellen was absolutely right — we have got to set aside our differences and be kind to one another no matter what.
It doesn’t matter our religion, our stance on political issues, who we voted for in the election, or heck — even how we feel about country music!
At the end of the day, we are all one family – created by God, worthy of love and respect. And somewhere along the lines, in efforts to promote political agendas, or “win” at certain arguments — that fundamental truth has been forgotten.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.“
What is one thing you can do this week to put more love out into the world?
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
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