I spend too much time on social media, and I admit I grow tired of it sometimes. The worst part is how often someone posts The Truth. You know the articles–the truth about your favorite foods, favorite senators, favorite stores, favorite actors. The truth seems to be all food will kill you, and they’ll kill you twice if they’re not organic. Any products you love are made by child slaves in third world countries. All people in power are evil (okay, I sort of believe that one…). Anything that makes you smile will hurt you when you least expect it. Any song you love has some alternate meaning. Anything good also has some evil, and a lot of people in the digital world want to make sure I never, at any point, come in contact with anything evil.
I’m flattered, really, except all the negative stuff starts to feel a little evil itself. Does anyone out there actually know for a fact every item in their home is fair trade, sustainable, and made with only natural materials? Does someone out there actually not know the flavor of sugar or soda or grain or dairy because every single food they ever ate was perfectly healthy? If you do, I’ve not met you, but you’re amazing. For me, quite frankly, all the truth is just making me feel like a failure.
Yes, I get that sometimes things hidden need to come to light. I’m a little leery about admitting this, but I admire Snowden and Anonymous more than almost any political leader in the world today. Some truth is good. But maybe we don’t have to work so hard to tear down everything, finding problems and imperfections around every corner.
So help me, I wonder what a “Truth about Jill Penrod” article would look like. Would you still be my friend if you knew how I ate, what I bought, how I parented, how I cleaned my house? I’ve exposed my kids to kid food (hot dogs and macaroni!!) and toxic cleaners a time or two. They’ve worn stuff from WalMart, although more of it comes from Good Will. Sometimes I use school curriculum that isn’t proven to make my kid smarter than all the other kids. In the blogged, socially connected world in which I find myself, I fail more than I get it right.
I need to keep an eye on the truths that guide me, wisely judging what I hear, and when I discover something I feel obligated to share, I hope to do it with gentleness and not judgment. I believe most of us are trying to do our best. We want to be healthy and happy. We want to be wise in our thinking and our actions. But sometimes, every now and then, we curl up with a processed flour croissant, fluffy synthetic socks from Walmart, and a movie starring someone who’s an idiot in real life, and it’s okay. Really.
And to see my fiction, which is less grumpy and more fun–www.jillpenrod.com. The first book of my Christian teen series is currently free at most ebook vendors, including Amazon (Kindle).