Thursday, January 14, 2010

Showing Support

Maybe I'm just cranky.

There's something that's been bothering me for a while, and I guess I'll just use the blog to try to hash it out for myself. Feel free to move along if you find this disagreeable.

I like Facebook. I enjoy reconnecting with old friends who I might have completely lost touch with altogether if we hadn't 'found' each other on FB. Granted it is not at all the same as actually seeing people and talking for real, but it does give some way to know how old friends (and new ones, too) are doing. I like that part of it.

Part of what I don't like about it is that you (read that "I") can waste too much time diddling around over there. It's so easy to go over to the computer 'just to check' and end up spending more time than I meant to. So, I have to place limits on myself.

One thing I find a bit annoying is some of the "pass it on" status updates. For example, there has been one going around recently about how it's time to show our support for our troops. It's all in caps, so I guess we're supposed to be yelling our support at the top of our lungs or something. Supposedly if you want to support the troops you need to post this status and tell everyone else to do it, too. I get e-mails quite frequently that say to forward the message on to everyone about supporting the troops, and the implication is that if you don't forward it then you must not support the troops. And I'm sure when people post that status or forward that e-mail, they probably feel pretty good about themselves for "showing their support."

Here's the thing. As an Army wife, seems to me the best way to "show support" isn't to hit the forward button or to copy and paste some dorky status. The best way to show support is to tell someone you know who is in the military, "Thank you for serving." Or something like that. When we first moved here, Drew and I were walking the boys in to their first day of school a year ago this month, and since Drew was on his way to work, he had his uniform on. A student who was in the hall came up to him, held out his hand for Drew to shake it, and said, "Thank you for serving our country, sir." That was cool. He didn't know us at all, but he went out of his way to 'show support' in a tangible way. Another way to show support is to show practical love to a military family when their soldier is deployed. Listen to them, offer to bring a meal or help a wife with some chore her deployed husband usually does when he is home (yard work, perhaps?), be available to just be a friend. Having been separated from my husband numerous times for various deployments and trainings and whatnots, I cannot tell you how meaningful those types of kindnesses can be. And, let me tell you, my husband feels supported when his family back home is treated kindly by people who remember he is away, too.

And while I'm thinking it out, there is more. Just because I didn't choose to post the color of my undergarments for all my Facebook friends to see does not mean that I do not understand or care about the serious nature of breast cancer. I get it. It is devastating and we all hope for a cure. I hope for a cure for other cancers, too. There again, seems like there are more practical ways to 'show support.' Donate to a cancer research organization, participate in some of the actual awareness events, do practical kindnesses for someone you know who is going through the horror of cancer treatments.

And one more thing. Just because I don't post a theologically unsound status or send an e-mail, don't assume that I do not love Jesus. I get so tired of the sanctimonious status things and e-mails that go around and say something like, "I'll bet most people won't post/forward this, but I'M not ashamed of Jesus...." or something along those lines. I get stuff forwarded to me that is just horrible theologically, and then there's the little thing at the bottom that implies that if you choose not to forward it and delete it you must not love Jesus. Actually, there are times I delete it BECAUSE I love Jesus and do not want to spread error about Him and how to worship Him. There again, there are more tangible ways to show that we love Jesus and are not ashamed of Him than to post a status or forward an e-mail and feel all good about ourselves that we've taken a stand for doing so.

I told you I was cranky.


Gator1995 said...

Reminds me of the Seinfeld Episode where Kramer refused to wear 'The Ribbon'. It is a false argument. It is self-serving issue that has no substance and no true selfless commitment. It's all about 'Look at Me' and 'I'm more compassionate that you are because I wear a ribbon'.

I never wear a ribbon. I never forward mindless messages or 'join causes' that have no true value- except to make the members feel better about themselves. PYSOTB!!!

Veronica @ A Quiet Heart said...

Maybe I'm cranky too...but I've had several of the exact same thoughts! :)

Moppy said...

thanks for sharing what i feel... i very, very seldom forward anything and my feelings are the same. I read all those "support the troops" statuses and wondered how many people had told a soldier "thank you" in person. And I really don't care what color bra everyone is wearing... or even if they wear one. YOU DA MAN... UH, WOMAN!!!