Updated: Dec 11, 2020
This quarantine has my circadian rhythm off, so I want to apologize for sending DM’s to 18 people on Facebook rather late on Friday night in case it was bothersome. That is, you are on my Facebook page, and follow me already!
Friday night before I sent those, I was up trying to open up to my husband more about why it is so important to me why I help people; why I have the Random Acts of Kindness Circle and do what I do, even if it is for people, I am no longer in touch with or for strangers. Why at random times, I feel compelled to reach out to people I hardly know or haven’t seen or spoken to in decades, to make sure they’re ok and debated on why the amount of time I spend on this is of great value and important for me to continue doing.
So we “went to bed” and in my insomnia, decided to continue my “me-ness” not to be confused with “meanness” (hee hee!) and send out 18 DM’s asking fellow Devine, TX mates, and a few others who I think are Christians who usually send me prayer requests or bible passages a request to join a friend’s prayer group on Facebook because I genuinely think these people will be a great fit to support her group and will benefit from joining.
So I go to sleep feeling really, really, good about the work that I’ve done right before bed, not realizing how much I could get done just in the last few minutes before bed of having that nice chat with Scott and possibly helping bring some people to this prayer group.
Well, I wake up Saturday morning to an extremely snarky response from 1 person. 1 person that I was shocked with like I thought I must be seeing things, she could not have sent this. I read it over and over and tried to read it as objectively as possible. Yet, there was no way to read it without it being hatefully directed at me, about how “my governor has done this and that.” (I think it is interesting how many people blame me for all of the opinions they have of what they think California’s officials are doing wrong, including those I didn’t even vote for as if I have anything to do with it.)
So come to find out, with a little digging, this girl has been harboring a LOT of anger for me because of something that I posted on her sister’s Facebook page that they didn’t like a year ago! I made a statement in response to something about sex education* in the classroom, and I was clearly giving my own opinion of what I thought of my experience as an elementary school teacher.
Did I have 1st graders come to me and ask me how babies were made and do everything in their power for me to tell them when I was a teacher? Yes!
Did I have some educational plan or lesson or response or guide for this provided by my school? No.
I was just told to ask their parents, and I was fine with that answer back then.
Do I think 1st graders need to know about certain compassionate things they would have no idea what are yet? No! (I had a specific word referencing an act up here but decided it might not be appropriate. I'm surprised nobody has mentioned it yet, to be honest.)
Overall, I believe it is important for kids to feel safe and have a safe place at school to ask teachers for help and ask questions. But I think that it is within reason they know age-appropriate information and at the same time, life and lifestyles in 2020 are not lived the way they were in 1920.
But getting back to the thick of it.....this girl was so rude, telling me that I was “attacking her sister on Facebook.” Initially, I didn’t even recall the interaction, but it slowly came back. First off, the word attack is so abrasive. It's not in my character to attack people in person or online; I fight for equality, fight for everyone having a voice, and try to be objective and try to be the voice of reason, and I try my best to lead by a good example.
Do you know what the unfortunate thing about this is TO ME? It was effortless for this girl and her sister to be mad at me over this without either of them asking me for a reason behind my opinion first. Did they even once consider the fact that I was a teacher? They both know I was. Then on to the worst part for me. Did either one of them remember any of the kindness that I extended to them or people from literally ALL over the world when one had cancer and was the beneficiary of a Random Act of Kindness Project? Or the other when she was trying to adopt a child, and I put her in touch with someone who worked with an orphanage to help her find a child or when she was looking for a job in a dealership that I helped pass her resume out and put in a good word for her with the owner of the one she wanted to work in?
Just all of this kindness extended to these two ladies and their families over the years was just thrown out in an instant, all because they were upset that I voiced my opinion based on my own experience as an elementary school teacher? Seriously?
What is so ironic is this came literally 9 hours after Scott said that he thought I was worrying too much about people who I don’t even know, or who I don’t know “anymore.” But I told him Friday night that many of these people need someone’s kindness, even if just for a moment. I just didn’t realize how quickly some would forget.
But there are few lessons here for all of us.
In my own opinion, I believe that...
When voicing an opinion, be sure that you are clear and kind when voicing it, but even when you do, people will still be unwilling to listen to your side, but you’ll know in your heart you did the right thing.
Don’t be angry for a year over something. I can only imagine how much stress she had and how awful her health was to be THIS angry for a YEAR and be angry over a misunderstanding or misinterpreted opinion. If you don’t know the whole story of something and it upsets you, ask.
Don’t let half of something eat you up the whole, because it will destroy you. A WHOLE YEAR of anger was all unleashed with the simple request to join a prayer group.
Don’t give up on people. Even when people disappoint you, because it will happen far more than you’d like, don’t let them get you down. Let them make you stronger, and help someone else.
But damn, just 9 hours later…talk about the timing.
*Information on comprehensive sexual health education and HIV/AIDS/STD prevention; includes legal requirements for education in these areas and additional quality instructional programs. Comprehensive Sexual Health & HIV/AIDS Instruction