Election Alert: Changing the World Is Still MY Job!

Buy THE QBQ! WORKBOOK to Make Personal Accountability a Core Value!

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It’s a dangerous time to be involved in a world that didn’t exist 15 years ago: Social media.

The Story

In 2013, I made a mistake: I voiced a political opinion on social media.

I made mention that I disagreed with a policy put forth by the Obama administration. I foolishly posted it on our QBQ! Facebook page.

Within minutes, a woman I didn’t know wrote, “You’re racist!”

Racist? Me? Because I am white and President Obama is black and I disagree with him on an issue?

Well, knowing that an argument can never be won on social media, I decided to respond by simply posting a picture of the whole Miller clan, adding, “Meet my family.”

You see, the Miller family is comprised of some white people, three African American daughters, one Mexican son-in-law, and a daughter-in-law who has Native American blood running through her veins.

The Facebook gal quickly deleted her comment. I never heard from her again.

Do Not Be a “Laptop Warrior”

The U.S. election ends today and one-half of our country will “win” while the other half “loses.” No matter what happens, there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth in Washington, D.C.

But does there have to be acrimony out in the hinterland? Must we be “Laptop Warriors”?

Our son, Michael, shared that phrase with us one day and defined it in a way that made my wife Karen and me laugh. His description of a Laptop Warrior:

Those courageous folks who sit behind a keyboard ripping you apart, calling you nasty names with 4-letter words, and then close their laptop and head downstairs to dinner with the family.

Social media. It is a blessing—and a curse. We all know the positive value it creates by helping us connect and reconnect with people. I’ve recently gotten in touch with 1976 Ithaca, N.Y. high school grads who I never thought I’d communicate with again.

On the flip side, though, social media has provided people a vehicle for expressing hostility, meanness, smallness, and some deep-seated immaturity and insecurity.

Statements are made on Facebook and Twitter (and other platforms, too) that would never be spoken to another person’s face.

Personal Accountability in Action

So, as this election closes, my counsel is to be ready and be careful. If arguing your case on social media is a temptation, remember this truth:

If I want to make the world a better place, it’s done by me demonstrating grace, humility, kindness, forgiveness, joy, peace, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. On social media—and wherever else I go!

Because changing the world begins with me. That’s personal accountability.

Comments always welcome!

Buy THE QBQ! WORKBOOK to Make Personal Accountability a Core Value!

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23 Responses

  1. Well said. Thank you! Trolling people’s posts accomplishes nothing, and its frustrating. I hope my kids learn to respect all people’s points of view even if you disagree with them. I appreciate social media for the re-connections I’ve made (as you said).

  2. LOVE this reminder. I’ve been very honest this election about my voting choices, but I’ve also been respectful of others’ choices. (And they have been respectful of mine – which is a nice plus.) I’ve seen some horrible things written this election and I appreciate the reminder to THINK before we write/type.

    Is it kind? Is it truthful? Is it necessary?

  3. So true! Great lesson — and I am going to post it on my social media site as a lesson to all. You want to make a positive change — takes some personal accountability!

  4. Very well “said”! Thank you for being such a reasonable, kind and smart person that shares his knowledge with others. We need more people who hold themselves accountable for their actions no matter if it’s in person or online. Blessings to you and your beautiful family!

  5. John,
    I made the mistake by commenting on a personal friend’s Facebook site that I have known for years she was even part of our wedding 35 years ago. She had written a political peace or should I say a comment and I just replied very nicely my point of view which was opposite to her point of view. I was attacked by two or three different people that I don’t even know on her Facebook site. Basically calling me a racist and all sorts of other things which I am not by any means. Not only that our friend unfriended me.

    Kind of hurts but makes me laugh to think anybody would go to that extreme because somebody does not agree with them. I think social media does a lot of good anyways comma but I really wish things were like it was when we were growing up without social media. We had to read the paper or watch the news on TV if we wanted to follow anything.

    Now all you see are young kids young adults and even middle-aged adults staring at their phones all day.

    One thing I can say about the election today – I agree with you 100% half the country will be happy and the other half upset but that is a great thing about our country … we have the right to vote the way we want it. There will always be losers and winners. Just like the old days when we were wrestling, John, somebody always came off the mat happy and the other unhappy or sad.

    But we always worked hard to try to change it the next time we got on the the wrestling mat so that we were the ones that walked off in Victory. Just like back then, it starts with you … how hard you want to work how dedicated you are. God Bless America!

    P.S. I will be buying your book I hope you sign it for me!

  6. I see this simple comment of yours is perfect for social media and reflects my personal views. I don’t re-post much but if I saw this out there I would. Hint hint!

    “If arguing your case on social media is a temptation, remember this truth:
    If I want to make the world a better place, it’s done by me demonstrating grace, humility, kindness, forgiveness, joy, peace, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. On social media—and wherever else I go!
    Because changing the world begins with me. That’s personal accountability.”

  7. I learned not to comment on friends Facebook pages during this campaign. I did try to steer people that were rather abusive in their language to fact checking websites, hoping that they may learn information that may change their attitude. I don’t know how successful I was, but I made the effort without name-calling. I just hope we can all take a breathe and try to now work together.

  8. Well stated!

    What you have written here is something we all should agree on no matter what our political views are:
    “If I want to make the world a better place, it’s done by me demonstrating grace, humility, kindness, forgiveness, joy, peace, goodness, gentleness, and self-control. On social media—and wherever else I go!”

    Thanks for the words of wisdom!

  9. Amen John!
    Well put, and spot on target.
    I like that term of Michael’s, “laptop warrior.” Sadly, that’s what a lot of what we’re experiencing throughout our online activities.
    Your suggestion is well served and directed: let it begin with me.
    Thanks,
    Doug

  10. Thank you John. This is a very positive and soothing outlook. I love our country and have strong misgivings that we are headed into difficult times. QBQ allows me to concentrate on what I can control to help the process.

  11. I cannot agree more with your post, John. All this election season, I have been thinking about your words and what is my personal responsibility. So on social media, I have not chosen sides, but rather asked people to fact check before they pass along another nasty chain mail post one way or another. I have not passed along any of these myself because they have been misleading at best. And this morning I posted that I will work with whomever will be our new leaders, hold them to a high standard and urge them to work across party lines to find common ground. Oh, and I voted today. It’s part of my personal responsibility.

  12. Thank you very much for this great reminder. No matter for whom our votes were cast, we are all people who care about our future.

  13. Thanks for your positive outlook, John. Here’s an excerpt of something I shared on Facebook adapted from a Stewardship prayer: With the help of God, I shall dedicate myself to the task of being all the things, that I want my country to be.

  14. Funny, sitting here reading this it isn’t just on social media that this happens. I was in school taking a Cultural Diversity class when a discuss came up about politics during the time that President Obama was running for the first time. My reply to the question was that as a Democrat, I couldn’t vote for him because of his policies. The reply from the Professor first thing out of her mouth was that I was being racist, which I am far from especially being Native American myself, she then went on to say that was the only reason as a Democrat I wouldn’t vote for him. I remind her that it in my answer it stated that I had issues with his policy and how that was the reason that in good conscious I could not vote for him. She continued to call me racist and when I reported her to the school I am the one that got in trouble. At the end of the day, I didn’t vote for him and got a C in that class, the only C that I got my entire college career, but one that I would take any day over my A’s and B’s. Especially with the irony of it being a cultural diversity class.

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