You want to know what the most controversial post I put on Facebook was? It may surprise you to know that it wasn’t about religion, politics nor mothering. It was about…Punch bowls! I will give you a moment to digest that.
I found a marvellous photo on Pinterest about how to repurpose your old punch bowls, seeing as they rarely get used these days. Turn ’em into birdbaths! Brilliant! I excitedly shared this idea, only to be shouted down. “I would never do such a thing to a family heirloom! How dare you!” I was astonished by the replies. When I scrolled back to my post, there was a vigorous debate going on. I was fascinated, and thought about the storm whirring above my head. I came to the conclusion that the reaction wasn’t really about punch bowls. That would be silly. It was about stress and pressure and exhaustion. Misplaced cries carried in the wind.
Remember the grief after Princess Diana died? There were people weeping in the streets, inconsolable. The grief was certainly for her and her boys, but also for the individual person. The tears that they hadn’t been able to spill prior over the loss of loved ones… It gave people permission to console, reach out and sob. Now we have the internet, we have thousands of tunnels into the deep recesses of our minds. Anger, fear, grief and sorrow are syphoned out into the light. It isn’t just about punch bowls. When somebody becomes outraged at a seemingly innocuous post, remind yourself of that. Tread gently, with compassion.