How To Have a Friendship Untouched By Politics

we don't have to agree on anything to be kind to one another.

Be Kind. Regardless.

Whenever I write anything to do with politics, I ALWAYS do so from a neutral standpoint. I’m not here to change anyone’s mind or political beliefs, but I do write to give food for thought when something bugs me…

…and right now it’s when I see many people posting the following request across social media:

“If you plan to vote for/are supporting {this candidate}, please unfollow/unfriend me.”

Really? … No, really?

So let’s clarify:

By making the above request, this is what I hear:

“I don’t care about our friendship or our history. I don’t care that you supported and were there for me all through the rough spots. I don’t care that I love you and promised that I would always be here for you. I don’t care that I know you personally. I don’t care that I feel like can trust you with my life. I don’t care that you have never wronged me in any way. I don’t respect that we have different beliefs, based on past experiences or upbringing. I don’t want to know what your EXACT beliefs are because if you support {this candidate}, you must think like every other supporter and I don’t care to find out any differently. I don’t care that I’m willing to end our friendship because of someone: A/ I don’t personally know; B/ who wasn’t there for me like you were when I needed someone; C/ I’ll never meet or have a chance to form a close personal bond with. I DON’T CARE. All I know is that I can’t be your friend if we don’t support the same candidate.”

My dear friends, I humbly ask of you to not make requests like this without careful consideration of what you’re actually saying. Not everyone who is your friend is necessarily vocal about their political views. I’m certainly not…and with good reason. When I raise these concerns, the logical response is: “If these people ended your friendship, based on political differences, they’re not really your friends.” Well okay…but I find it hard to believe that my friendships hang by a single political thread that would instantly unravel because of politics. When I look at my friends, I don’t see them as clones of their chosen candidate. I see the people I love and the long-standing mutual bonds I co-cultivated for so many years. I see the people who have stood by me through thick and thin. I see the people who occupy permanent places in my heart because of what we shared during our friendship. I see the beauty that is uniquely them, regardless of their beliefs in any aspect. If I thought, for one second, that our friendship was based on such a shallow foundation, I would not continue to cultivate those friendships.

As for requests to unfollow or unfriend people because I don’t support the same candidate? No, I won’t do that. Why? Because our friendship isn’t about where we are on the political scale or our religious beliefs. If there is genuine love, support, and a bond between us, I’m a friend for life. And those of you who really know me know that I’m speaking from my heart.

Thanks for listening.

❤ & ☮

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3 thoughts on “How To Have a Friendship Untouched By Politics

  1. The same sort of situation occurred during the EU referendum in the UK. Friendships were fractured and family relationships unraveled as a result of the Brexit vote. Was it worth it? In my opinion, no, for all the reasons that you have cited. Fortunately I was out of the country immediately following the vote and I am really grateful for that. Many of my friends were not of the same view as me, and with feelings running high, often whipped up by the media and the politicians themselves, it would have been too easy for things to have been done and said which would have been difficult to get over. Months later I am really glad that my relationships were not damaged by that political event. It would have not have been worth it. My friendships mean more to me than fleeting political events and we can agree to disagree. Thanks for sharing this. With the benefit of hindsight I am grateful I was away in the aftermath and had that breathing space.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think it’s sad when people are willing to overlook meaningful relationships in the name of politics. I think we need look at the bigger picture and consider why and how we have become such a divided nation. “United we stand, divided we fall” is attributed to Aesop, quoted in the Bible, and sung in a song by The Brotherhood of Man. We should be asking ourselves who is creating/promoting the division and why. :/

      Thank you for your comment. Always enjoy hearing from you. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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