How Will You Choose to Deal with Opposing Views?

This past week has been interesting to say the least. Emotions continue to be high as one president exits and another one enters. I found myself having to unfriend someone I have known since I was an undergraduate in college because of the personal attacks he made against others whom I am friends with during a conversation on Facebook. Here is the status that I posted after I unfriended him: “Please understand that I post about things that I care about and are my views. I love to spark debate as long as it is done properly. That is the point of some of my posts. I will not tolerate disrespect. Personal attacks is not the way to change someone’s view on an issue. Don’t quote the Bible if you don’t live by it. You will be blocked!” I am an advocate for having conversations about difficult subjects with people of different view points. That is how change happens whether it is someone adjusting to my view, or me to theirs. But we as a society have to learn how to have conversations without resorting to personal attacks.

I have also been dealing with an issue with a family where the teenager has dug her heels in and is refusing to see reason because she does not want to be seen as weak in the eyes of her peers even though her safety is in jeopardy. Today it hit me that what we have witnessed over the past couple of days is a great testimony. There was an expectation that the inauguration attendance would be record breaking, but instead people showed their voice by not showing up. Now I know there is discrepancy about how many people were there, but pictures truly are worth a thousand words. The very next day women across the United States gathered and marched for women rights. So many so they have not been able to collect the numbers yet. The statement of silence the day before and peaceful protest the next day spoke volumes! And how fitting that this all occurred the week we celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday!

Our challenge today is teaching youth that they can show more strength by using wisdom to deal with conflict. Many of the past conflicts I have dealt with have been shut down and resolved using silence, peaceful protest, kindness, love, and a smile. So I challenge us all to use wisdom in how we approach things and find a different way of responding to those who have views that are in conflict with out own.

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A Couple of Minutes of Kindness

I have been trying to think about what I wanted to write about all day. Over the past couple of weeks several topics have come across my mind such as domestic violence after hearing about the young woman”s husband who posted a picture of her on Facebook after he killed her. Or about not giving up when obstacles get in your way due to my own latest personal battle. But within the last 30 minutes the subject of “A Couple of Minutes of Kindness” came my way after finding out about a co-worker who died today. I only worked with her for about a week before she got sick and went into the hospital. What was remarkable was in that short period of time she brought so much joy to our department and was full of wisdom. When she went into the hospital, for what we thought would be a short amount of time, I reached out and called her on a daily basis. She would make statements about how she loved hearing from me in those brief couple of minutes and how it brought her joy. At one point I was told that I was spending too much time calling her when there was other things I needed to be doing. I refused to accept that and did not listen. I felt that if I was in the hospital I would appreciate someone checking on me even if I had known them for a short time. I refuse to be too busy for a couple of minute of kindness. We got word last week that she was not coming back to the facility, but that did not deter me from reaching out. I called and sent a text. I received a text back that she was going to call me back, but never heard from her. When I got the call this evening my heart became heavy. She was a remarkable woman who in a short time touched my life with her tenacity and laughter. You know God uses you in ways that you don’t always realize. He used me to bring a couple of minutes of light into her day not knowing that He was preparing to bring her home with Him. I am happy that I listened and continued to make contact when I was told that I was too busy. You never know what small act maybe one of the last small acts a person receives.

Cancer stole another angel today. 1 in 13 people will develop lung cancer in the United States with 10-15% being non-smokers. Two-thirds of these are women who have never smoked. There are many causes and risk factors associated with lung cancer. There are many treatments out there if it is caught early. Please see your doctor if you sense something is wrong. If you are not happy with the first doctor’s diagnosis, get a second opinion. We have to stop being scared of doctors and of being diagnosed. We have to take responsibility for our health.

Please join me in praying for the family and friends of my co-worker. Tomorrow find some small act of kindness to do in honor of her memory. May you Rest In Peace Delores Holmes!

Please make a donation in support of my efforts with Team In Training and help advance the research for cures. You can access my fundraiser page at http://pages.teamintraining.org/sun/StPeteHf13/drshanwalks. Furthermore, I would like to invite family and friends to join me in St. Petersburg that day after the race to celebrate a survivor, my mother Shirley Dorsey-Davis. Feel free to contact me for more details.