We are a reactive generation.
In a world where worldviews have become more diverse than ever--
--where most people live without thinking too much until something happens which jolts them irrevocably out from their comfort zones--in a world where power belongs to the instant and currently trending--
--where the scope of impact means more than the depth of impact--
--where 25 million shares make an article important--
--this is an inevitable consequence of our culture. We've become people of extremes.
We are a generation of people who have been encouraged to react rather than think--hence the tendency towards extremes and blowing things out of proportions.
If only we had principles that guided us. Even when there was no controversial article on Facebook that we felt we had to make a stand on.
If only we thought about things more before they became a trending issue that too quickly polarizes people with the violence of nuclear fusion--and consequently demands a response from us in the first ten seconds after we find out about it.
If only, we were able to consider the big picture before unthinkingly following our dominant emotion (which usually has already been manipulated by the writer of the article, or the photographer, or the person telling it to us.)
If only we took time to think, and realize that things sometimes aren't as simple as taking sides--or writing a long comment--or sharing the post on our page.
We are the generation of people who are outstandingly passive around others, coming home to wage astonishingly intense Youtube comment wars behind the safety of our computer screens.
If only we were less reactive, and more active.
Society calls Christians bigots and extremists and narrow-minded and they often have a point. The fact that this doesn't exclude non-Christians is, of course, not mentioned--but it does highlight how great the damage is when anyone, subscribing or identifying with a cause, unthinkingly reacts.
If we thought more--
and reacted less.
In his book The Peacemaker, Ken Sande included an interesting insight on the difference between a reaction and a response. A reaction is usually highly emotional and volatile, something you can't (or don't bother to) control. In contrast, a response indicates a more thoughtful and purposeful attempt to address the issue at hand and bring it to a conclusion or solution. (Facebook's new 'react' option, after all, is just that--click a stylized emoticon from the list given to you, it takes just one second. I would have liked to use the simile of the 'reacting' versus commenting on Facebook, except that even Facebook comments have an infamous reputation for being hyper reactive!)
Reactions are unstable, unreliable, uncontrollable, because of the speed with which they take place. So instead of waiting for the next chemical to drip into our stagnant beakers, perhaps we should spend some times stabilizing our solution--even if there's nothing to disturb it at present--so we don't erupt at the next catalyst. Maybe we needn't erupt at all. Or maybe we don't have to join the ranks of everyone around us whose reactions are limited to blue or red smoke.
Respond--don't just react.
...but of course, no one has the time...
a quiet voice
Ci thinks some of God's greatest blessings to mankind are
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