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  • How easily we can care too much about people we barely know, and too little about those we've spent years investing in. Social media...what a mysterious gift and challenge to our humanity. I believe it is merely a demonstration of our sincere desire to reach out, to connect, to truly love our fellow human beings. But as with the barriers that hold us back here in our everyday lives, eventually we hit those walls inside our "safe" online worlds.

    I'm reminded of a family facebook crisis. A cousin I recently re-connected with "joins the gang" on facebook. How fun and exciting to be really "in" each other's lives again. UNTIL...politics crept in and tempers flared. My family are TRUE political animals, and also truly good and deep thinkers. But once she crossed the line, disrespecting my father (her uncle!), my sibling had had enough. UNFRIEND! It seems so dramatic and unnecessary.

    This is indeed a trying time in our history. A house divided can not stand...or can it? Hasn't our country always been divided? This is a question my child asked me the other day. Jefferson had slaves, Washington had slaves, and yet they both knew it was an issue that would divide our country eventually. Neither of them chose to take a stand on it at the constitutional convention, but they knew. Is our country a unique experiment like de Toqueville thought? Are we making progress? Maybe it's two steps forward and one step back...but as one of my bright little minds reminded me, that's still one step forward.

    I guess I can't help but be moved by the drama I saw unfold here on Cowbird today. Kiki is most likely right about facebook being the culprit. What's good about Cowbird (IMHO) is just the right amount of distance, and no comments. If you find my story dull, commonplace or amateur...well, don't love it. No skin off my nose. But add your two cents, likely poorly thought out and from a knee-jerk reaction, and we'll be at each other like cats and dogs.

    It doesn't change the fact that we reached out for the right reason. We came here to share and listen. We valued each other, sight unseen (almost), because we each had a story. These flare ups in our community, in our country, even in our everyday nuclear family world, really are the less important parts, aren't they?

    "Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident." Louis de Bernières in Captain Corelli’s Mandolin (with my compliments to Maria Popova over at literaryjukebox.brainpickings.org)

    With love,
    Melissa
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