During the month of June I took a break from writing, backed off social media, and listened to audio books instead of NPR most mornings. I ended the month with a family vacation. My spirit needed rest. And, I am privileged to be able to give it that rest. But it was also a working rest. I listened to my inner voice in the stillness and took time to slow my thoughts down, and get myself internally organized.
Now, I’m back. I’m writing and I’m ready to get busy working hard on the plans I made in the stillness. First stop, what I’m going to do about the 4th of July.
This July I want to be patriotic. But, there are children separated from their families because of anti-immigrant sentiments in the white house. We are so addicted to scapegoating that we are letting our collective morals descend into the abyss.
Not only that, but we are feuding with allies. The “fake news media” trope is now fueled by the death of hard working journalists doing the work of the constitution we celebrate — work that the framers knew was crucial to a functioning democracy.
And, I can’t even express this without fearing that it will cause drama, which is so sad.
I have been thinking about this a lot in the context of Twitter. As a communications professional I value social media as a way to connect. I think it can be helpful and has shown me news and messages I wouldn’t have seen otherwise.
But, there is the other side to Twitter that breads divisiveness and hate. A place where truly sickening trolls and extremists create a cesspool of unproductive, ignorant, rhetoric.
I am totally a contributor to this. It is so easy for me to think that getting on Twitter and re-tweeting does something. But, y’all, it doesn’t… unless you’re the president.
So, this July I am going to count up all my political tweets/ re-tweets and donate a dollar each to the charity of my choosing. It is time for me to do a more conscious job of putting actions in the place of where my Twitter fingers are. Because, actions speak louder than the words we tweet.
Side note: This is possible because it is a month where I believe I will have the financial means to follow through on this. However, that is not always the case. And, I realize that many share this struggle. So, let’s add a deed of kindness that aligns with the messages we are sending out. For example, ordering a few pizzas for your local newspaper. Or, what if everyone had lunch with a friend who holds differing political views and held a polite, thoughtful conversation about their differences?
Please, join me in keeping track using #actionsspeaklouder. There is nothing more patriotic than getting involved in the political process to work for a more just country. Isn’t that what the Declaration of Independence said?
Before you talk to me about my political opinions please see the following:
- Family Separation at the Border
- Our Town series from This American Life
- The Capital Gazette, Trump and rhetoric about media
- During Roundtable, Trump calls some unauthorized immigrants ‘animals’