I received an email from The Global Immersion Project launching a month-long #EverydayPeacemaking challenge to "further activate you to partner with God in healing our broken world."
I will try to post progress here, but since the challenge is an every day thing and I do not think I can blog every day, I may only get a few blog posts in for the month. Here is my first:
I majored in Political Science. The essential daily assignment in every class was to read no less than seven news sources - yes seven - each day and to pay attention to how each source reports the same story in its own way.
So today's challenge is a familiar exercise that I still carry from my college days although it is much easier, as I can quickly click, tap and swipe to find different perspectives online.
One of the major sources of conflict and mistrust today is politics . We choose the issues that we are most interested in or passionate about - like women's rights or national security or healthcare. Too often we stop at a headline and form an opinion from a single, biased perspective. This can breed resentment and distrust of those whose opinions differ from ours.
So our peacemaking call is to do some digging.
I wanted to share some digging hints and tools with you here.
First - understand that the news business is a revenue-generating business. Headlines and articles are not necessarily meant to inform. Clickbait will not reveal the complex truth of the matter. Headlines are more likely designed to capture and sustain an audience than to relay the truth. If they can spark emotion or passion, they are making money. Think of that the next time you become emotional about a political news - or any news story, for that matter - whether you feel elation, fear, anger, relief, sorrow or joy.
If your thing is politics, instead of turning to the news, try watch/read or listen to the source as well or instead. There are informative and up-to-date websites for all government branches: http://www.house.gov or https://www.senate.gov, https://www.supremecourt.gov, https://www.whitehouse.gov and every executive branch department has its own website. Our state and local governments also publish information online and are very often accessible to answer questions, too. Though you might not find everything you are looking for, you will find the actual text of a bill that is up for vote, the executive order that was signed, the policy that was implemented or the supreme court decision that was made. Don't base your opinions solely on what others think. Go to the source.
For many factual viewpoints, try a forum like r/neutralpolitics on subreddit.
Do your own digging and you might be surprised at the new perspectives you discover!
See? You just made peace.