This is going to be an odd post, just stuff rolling through this tired brain of mine that’s nothing here or there, just stuff.
I guess some folks have probably noticed it by now, a new thing that I decided to try last night in the positive heartbeat Comment Policy found just above where disqus loads. When I first started commenting online- seems like forever ago, I didn’t say much, didn’t know anyone else and the sites that I went to were somewhat intimidating at first to jump into conversations. Over the years though there have been so many conversations with folks- not always good conversations, or folks, but the majority of times have been great.
I can’t remember when I got in the habit of upvoting people, and I haven’t always upvoted every single comment for every single conversation, but I’ve noticed myself doing it more as time went on. Mostly to comments I heartily agreed with- you know those kinds “I wish I could upvote you a million times” type comments. But there have been times, especially when I was heavily involved in conversations with folks others sometimes thought were trolls, that I would argue, listen, argue some more, but then along the way the arguments became more like a civil discussion with respect from each of us, yet still not agreeing. And sometimes by the end of the discussion we’d be upvoting each other.
That is a rarity these days for sure.
What is an upvote though? Is it so one can be popular and get the most votes? Why do we like comments- because we agree, or because we like or respect someone or they are friends? Or is it just habit? I’m not sure about most folks. But for me, it’s a mix of habit- because they have become friends that I automatically upvoted them. But I find myself these days upvoting not only if I agree with someone, but also when I don’t necessarily agree with them- but because I appreciate them taking the time to comment and share their thoughts.
Unless someone says something so diametrically opposite and completely offensive, I can appreciate people’s willingness to engage especially when it’s something that’s different or an opinion that I might not agree with and they might not agree with mine, but are willing to try and understand where each other are coming from and why we hold our opinions.
There is such a rarity out there anymore where people feel free to express themselves without being shamed, blamed, mocked or trashed just because others don’t agree- and I used to be one of those who would come down pretty hard on trolls or others for stuff I didn’t agree with. But as I said, sometimes I’d try and see where a person was coming from, even if they acted trollish. Maybe it was my moods or I was in a more patient place- but sometimes those conversations were really worth having, because they taught me that you don’t always have to agree without giving up your own convictions, while allowing them to be themselves and find out where they’re coming from. Kind of like walking in their shoes for a little while.
It gives a little more perspective into others’ reasons for believing what they do, or sometimes helping them to understand a truth that they may not have understood and wouldn’t learn if no one took the time to just listen. No one will talk if one is being condemned or mocked, but everyone appreciates someone listening and trying to understand their views before giving them your own.
So, I guess the point of that comment policy idea is that folks here are all friends, but we’re also all different, we’re all from different places, both physically and spiritually. Most of us are pretty sure of who we are, and what we believe. We may not agree with everything everyone says every time, and we may not say things in the same ways, but we care and appreciate each others’ being here and sharing what’s on our minds and hearts. We care about each other as people, and as friends and let Jesus clean us up.
I don’t write to make a big splash, and I don’t upvote people just so they’ll ‘like me’ back. I write in hopes that someone will find help, comfort or encouragement knowing that they’re not alone in their trials, and uncertainty about life- and to show them the way to the God Who Created them, Who loves them and wants a relationship with them.
I upvote because I love conversations, learning from each other, where we’re at, and give others a chance to grow in the time God is growing them. So maybe I don’t agree with everyone every single time, and I sure know not everyone agrees with me, nor do I expect them to. But I’ll still upvote because that’s who I am, and I appreciate you all.
If this sounds nuts, it probably is. It’s been a long and trying week again, my brain is fried and a lack of sleep will do that- so if it’s nuts…. open thread on 🙂
Have a blessed day all.