I have met and connected with people I would not otherwise meet all due to social media. I have had conversations with people all over the world! How cool is that? I have developed friendships that I truly cherish. There are some people I have met because of a commonality we share. Others I will be meeting this year because of business and personal crusades that we share. I have even had conversations with some people I’ve met online where it required me to quickly decipher what language they were writing and utilize Google Translator to continue the conversation. I treasure the friends I have gained through social media, and cherish those I’ve been able to continue with as a result.

I did however; have an incident occur today that surprised me. I proposed a question that I felt was innocent due to a hypothetical question posed to me by my daughter. We watched two Dutchmen conduct an experiment to simulate the type of pain women experience in childbirth. My question was as stated below:

“What if the roles were reserved and men had to carry the children?”

No offense to anyone, but I will continue to stick to my initial thoughts. Having the experience of pregnancy and natural childbirth I don’t think any machine could ever give men the idea of intense pain and euphoria I experienced. No woman would understand unless she had experienced this delicate yet life-altering moment. There are no words to express the simultaneous joy and pain.

Anyone who has read my blogs or Facebook postings knows I am very opinionated and rarely back down. I do enjoy friendly debate. There is one Facebook friend that continually disagrees with me, but it is done respectfully and not maliciously. There are times I have to concede that he has just as strong and vital an opinion as I do. I am not arrogant enough to think that my opinion trumps the opinion or supersedes those of anyone who disagrees. I do however; treasure my freedom of speech and the rights of anyone else to say and express whatever the hell they want.

Imagine my dismay when I realized that someone who I saw as a friend defriended me based on the question proposed above. He is someone that has a big chip on his shoulder and his bitterness is showing. He has raised his oldest children as a single-parent after his first wife walked out. I respect his accomplishments, but he took what I said completely out of context. I don’t revel in my thoughts so much that it’s to the exclusion of others. I’m too old to care that my words were misconstrued. But it did surprise me that he had such a volatile reaction to my words. This is the same person that I have had telephone conversations with and offered my encouragement when he was discouraged and disappointed. Part of me says how arrogant that you would think my words were pointed at you. The other side of me sees it is sexist that he would discount the importance that women play. Like it or not; that woman who walked away gave birth to the children that he has raised. Without her they wouldn’t be here. It is a hard pill to swallow, but TRUTH.

This brings me to some other issues I see in this incident. Right now is a trying time for me and my family. No I don’t put all my business on Facebook or Twitter, but those closest to me are aware of my pain. I appreciate their prayers and count on them during this time. I do share words of encouragement for those who read my posts and as the Disciple Paul said, “Encourage yourself!”

The incident is significant because it shows the power of words and social media. It serves as a reminder that many people have created a virtual world in which they exist; many more are living their lives and periodically check in with their online friends. Recently I was contacted by a close friend that I never thought I’d see again. I had given up on the possibility. It made my heart leap for joy. There are people who leave an indelible mark on your heart and I’m thankful to have them back in my life.

Anything in this world can be used for good or evil. ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ ~ Romans 8:28

I don’t always know my purpose, but I know I was called. It is true that your life is a gift from GOD. What you make of it is your gift to HIM. Make sure that you’re living it and not living online.

*Thank you Terralyn. Never forgot the day you shared this with me.


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