I have been humbled since participating in social media. I’m sure I’ve offended people, whether intended or not. I used to have no problem expressing my opinion on hot topics like CIO (crying it out), spanking, circumcision, vaccines, and of course birth (mostly before BWF). Then something happened. I noticed how some people will go further than expressing their opinion and sharing information…they attacked (and still do).
It made me stop and think, hold my tongue more and look at things for the perspective of those I don’t agree with. I stopped participating in these conversations (other than birth on BWF of course). I realized there was a quality some people have (myself included) that others lack…compassion.
I have seen parents say to each other (summarizing)…
“You wouldn’t circumcise your son if you love him. You are mutilating him. You should be arrested or have your child taken away!”
“You don’t care about the loss of your child b/c you don’t agree with me on how to feel about it.”
“You are an idiot for not vaccinating. Of course they save lives. You are an irresponsible and careless parent.”
“You are an uneducated idiot FOR vaccinating. They are dangerous and you are damaging your kids.”
“You are putting your baby at risk and are an idiot, baby killer, stupid, and more b/c you are doing ‘x, y, z’.” (This goes for everything from home birth to having an epi to birthing unassisted or having an ultrasound or cesarean birth. It’s ridiculous!)
It goes on and on and on.
Here’s the thing…you are NOT HELPING YOUR CAUSE. You aren’t bringing people to your ‘side’…you are pushing them further away. For those of you who are nasty, lack any compassion or taste and do not care one bit while you sit behind this…
STOP! Look at yourself, where you are coming from and remember…
…goes much further than judging.
If you tell another parent you understand, tell them about yourself, where you are coming from and then share information, you will help them open their hearts and minds. Even if you don’t change their mind, I would bet your chances of doing so do increase. I’ve noticed this on BWF many times over. I even see myself understanding more about things I don’t agree with and revising what Birth Without Fear means as we are all different.
When we fight, judge, tear each other apart, we accomplish nothing. But when we show understanding, compassion, ask and receive forgiveness, we can make small changes that will lead to bigger ones.