My social media feeds have been filled with so much negativity over the last five months. Never have I seen my community, my country so impassioned (which is not necessarily a bad thing) and polarized (now here’s where things get bitter) politically — to the extent that any given day, a mere five minutes on Facebook is enough to give me a heavy heart.
This, of course, has been my error: violating the first of Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (“BE PROACTIVE!”) such that I have allowed myself to be on the receiving and reacting end of my external environment’s mood swings. I have in fact been so demotivated by social media that I stopped blogging and put a halt to my own advocacy to serve blessings of positivity and gratefulness at the start of each week. Consequently the “Thank God, It’s Monday” (TGIM) campaign died before it could even really take off.
Throughout these months of hiatus I would reason to myself that the TGIM initiative seemed so frivolous considering the weighty conversations flooding my feeds. I even felt it might be an escapist, superficial pursuit to try cheering people up and encouraging them to see and be thankful of the blessings that each week brings, when all over my nation, people are debating substantial issues on human rights, foreign policy and the economy. Lastly, I succumbed to thinking that it might be a pointless exercise to try to inspire and lift up people who are simply determined to spend their time on word wars, malicious memes, and the spread of enmity and discontent.
Over the last days, however, I have been seeing that people do need spaces to (re)discover how there can be more to their online life than the futile habit of angry discourse and the seemingly bottomless servings of partisan political opinions. This may actually be the need of the moment: grabbing whatever opportunities there may be to draw people to what is good and right — in themselves, in one another, in our world and in our God.
The words of the apostle Paul have been coming back and convicting me:
Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. (Philippians 4:8)
No circumstance should subtract from the significance of this counsel. I, in particular, need to choose this track as a blogger, because focusing on what is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent and praiseworthy may be the only way I can contribute something of value to my current and future readers. My efforts to spur and promote goodness may be a tiny drop in the bucket, as the cliche goes, but they should still amount to something and (as another cliche goes) make a difference, somehow.
This is not to say that I am resolving to be an agent of blind optimism and social disengagement. After all, God does call us, in Proverbs 31:8-9, to this cause:
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.
I do not intend to abnegate my responsibility to do these.
I simply need to be proactive as well to shed light on personalities, causes, events, resources and nuggets of wisdom that can inspire hope and goodness in people. This, after all, is how I’ve always hoped to glorify God with this blog.
I am thus resolving to resurrect the TGIM campaign, beginning with this post. I am also praying to start a regular (monthly/bi-monthly) special feature on inspiring people and organizations.
If you’d like to help me get (re)started, do feel free to post on your own blog (and link back to this post) or in the comment section below your own sources of encouragement and/or any good news getting you started with your week. Looking forward to hearing from you all!