ReCAST Church

Just a Quick Response

I am increasingly disgusted with my society . . . And myself. If social media has done anything to us, it has made us into professional pundits and quick-draw responders.

From the obviously poor parenting of zoo-goers, to the clearly poor judgment of zoo owners, to the (more close to home) poor use of the road by bike riders, we all know and judge things too quickly. Myself included. And part of the problem is, that we do not often even allow the time for the reality to set in. Can you imagine YOUR child being drug around by a 400 pound gorilla?

Do we feel before we comment? Is there any sacred space for quiet, for silence, for the humility that says we just don’t know the details and to be quite frank, the details often are gratuitous, unnecessary and sometimes even get in the way of the true point of pain and hardship.

Often our interest in sharing our own opinion stems from a growing insatiable appetite for trivia without any emotional attachment. We are consumers of information porn. We have a hunger to know things that we do not need to know. We have apparently strong opinions about things that do not need our opinion but instead our prayers! But even I often share too quickly. In the wake of the tragic bike accident in Kalamazoo I have heard enough criticism of bike riders using the roadways, that I have responded in person as well as on social media. But my concern in my response is that it is too soon!

Consider this, what if all of those bike riders were breaking the law? Does that mean that they deserved what happened? Is this the time to debate and lobby for your personal opinions regarding bikes on the road!? Arguing about fault doesn’t really help anyone in tragedy. And as a community, we ought to take a collective moment to pause in humility, acknowledge we don’t have all the details, and regardless of the details, we should mourn with those who mourn, and pray for those who are even now fighting for their lives.

Let’s work together to be slower to jump to conclusions and be quicker to jump to our knees.

About Don Filcek

Don Filcek

I like mountain biking even where there are no mountains. I like to jog and call it running. I read books to learn stuff. My family is pretty much awesome. ReCAST is the church where I belong. Jesus is my Lord and Savior. I like the color yellow.

3 Responses

  1. Kyle Huitt says:

    Nobody is saying that the cyclists deserved what happened. It is an unthinkable tragedy. What I have heard on social media is that cycling on some roads is just a generally bad idea. Nobody is getting down on cyclists. Nobody is reveling in this instance as if the cyclists got what was coming to them. Everybody I have encountered has been somber and meditative, even if they are critical of cyclists sharing all roads with automobiles.

    Conflating the critique of road usage with the infatuation over a gorilla is a fallacious dismissal of a very important conversation that should indeed happen. If you are not personally emotionally ready for that conversation, that is perfectly understandable. But that does not mean you can expect everybody else on social media to behave the same way. You cannot mistake attacks on a concept for attacks on your ability to mourn.

    I have prayed for those involved in this tragedy. But setting emotion aside, I am also unashamedly among those thinking that perhaps we should revisit the way in which our roads are shared.

    • Don Filcek Don Filcek says:

      And my blog is not dismissing your right to share your opinion. It is calling into question our timing. My blog is not about a bike crash. My blog is about insensitivity and a lack of compassion that I believe is growing. You make good arguments. But ask yourself . . . Is this a good time to be making arguments? If you conclude that this is great timing, then go for it. But my conclusion is that this is a terrible time to try to win a debate.

  2. Sarah says:

    Don, thank you for your blogpost. I too, think that we are so quick as a society to cast opinion to any who would listen. Maybe it’s because of all the other that swirls around us. We are generally willing to blurt out opinions, thoughts, decrees and judgement before we pray or hear every side. God help me/us to hold our tongue and give priority to knee-time and quiet. Thank you for a word well penned.

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