I have logged off of Facebook, until February 1. (This post will be published on that site, though I won’t be there to respond to any comments that are posted. Other posts I put on WordPress, for the rest of January, will not be shared on Facebook.)
Now, as to why. Well, there are two reasons, both stemming from the same, seemingly innocuous incident. A longtime friend asked for my input on something. As I was pre-occupied with something that seemed to me to be terribly earthshaking at the time, I made an offhand reply. To make a long story short, my response was not what this friend wanted, and thus ended a previously good friendship. Baha’u’llah teaches, “The foundation of all relationships is trust.” As this person no longer felt that I was trustworthy, the relationship was done. This, in turn, led to my feeling that, for the time being, there really was no point to my staying on that social media site, and I am on hiatus. The only reason I have not deactivated my account on Facebook is that there are 524 other friends and relatives, whom I also care about deeply- and with whom I want eventually to reconnect. Thus, I will go back on February 1.
Now, for the second reason I am on hiatus. Baha’u’llah also teaches us, “O EMIGRANTS! The tongue I have designed for the mention of Me, defile it not with detraction. If the fire of self overcome you, remember your own faults and not the faults of My creatures, inasmuch as every one of you knoweth his own self better than he knoweth others.” – Baha’u’llah, The Hidden Words, from the Persian. I know my own heart. I know that, at no time did I ever wish ill towards this person. At no time did I ever regard my friend’s problems or issues in a lighthearted or offhand manner. It’s not whom I am.
Each one of us approaches life differently. So, it stands to reason that a better way to understand someone is to ask what is his/her perspective, rather than to tell him/her what their thoughts, feelings, motives are. I’ve had people tell me, “You’re abasing yourself online. Stop it!” From others, “You’re a horrible person, and no friend at all!” Everyone’s idea, or concept, of a friend is different. I can only say how I see it. Others are entitled to their views. To me, though:
- A friend listens.
- A friend defers attention, when there is something pressing that intervenes.
- A friend does not let assumptions get in the way of friendship.
- A friend does not let pain, whether his or the other’s, destroy a friendship.
- A friend forgives, while expecting the injuring one to overcome that which led him/her to do the hurt.
- A friend picks up where the friendship left off.
- A friend says “No”, where “Yes” would be easier, but not beneficial.
- A friend calls those he loves to a higher level of discourse.
- A friend is forever. Those who read this, you remain in my heart, and yes, if I hear that you are in distress, I will do all I can to help. This is not because I am better, or “more noble”, but because we are both human.