Anyway, I just read a message on Facebook by SF author David Gerrold (whose place in SF lore would be secure if the only thing he'd ever written was the Star Trek episode "The Trouble With Tribbles"), in which, in the course of explaining why he doesn't like laughing at photos of morbidly obese people, he says something that lines up with my thinking these days:
As human beings, we have the capacity to stand for each other, to support each other, to be compassionate and nurturing. We have the very human capacity to make a difference for everyone around us -- not just friends and family, but everyone we come in contact with. Other human beings deserve to be treated with respect and dignity.
This isn't a new realization for me. It's merely today's recognition that toxic behavior of any kind makes me uncomfortable. (Last year, I edited out of my life a friend of twenty years because despite her unerring moral compass, I couldn't stand the way she bullied and abused anyone who dared to question her unerring moral compass. Instead of teaching, she attacked. Her unerring moral compass was applied to everyone else's behavior but her own. I also culled her enablers and yes-men.)
I'm not perfect, I make mistakes, we all do. But as a rule of thumb -- I make a continuing effort to NOT judge people by who they are. Instead, I respond to what they say and what they do. I look at their behavior. Because what a person says and does is the clearest expression of what he or she is up to on the planet.
I think Facebook (and all other social media) has the power to transform who we are as a society. We can learn from each other. We can learn to listen to each other. We can learn to respect each other. Or we can be a global circular firing squad.
Every time we post, we're making a choice. We're choosing to elevate ourselves and the people we connect with -- or we're choosing to kick ourselves a little bit farther down the muddy slope. I choose not to be an enabler.