A Tale Worth Pondering…
Just down the road from you, a man and a woman hired an architect to design their new home. You watched from afar as the construction crew arrived to prepare the land that they purchased, dig the basement, set the foundation, and begin laying the framework. In a short amount of time, you could tell that this was going to be a large home.
In less than one month, the shell of the home was constructed, and workers began their tasks on the inside. As they worked behind closed doors, you no longer had a good view of the progress, thus you had no idea what style and design was beginning to unfold.
One day, a larger crew showed up and began to dig a hole in the back yard. Another crew showed up a few days later and put some forms in the ground. Cement trucks began rumbling down your street, and it finally dawned on you that they were putting in a pool. It turns out that it is a very LARGE pool, and you secretly hope that one day they will invite you over to swim.
Work must be progressing inside, as workers keep showing up day after day. They come in trucks with hammers, nails, buckets, paint cans, etc. Delivery trucks line the streets daily to unload kitchen cabinets, plumbing equipment, tile, hard wood for the floors, light fixtures and everything else that would go in a home. But you have no idea what it will look like when it is finished.
10 months after the construction began, you walk to your mailbox. It’s a normal July day; the sun is shining, birds are chirping, children are riding their bikes on the sidewalk. You open your mailbox and pull out your mail.
You can’t believe your eyes!
Your new neighbors have invited you to an
open house and swimming party!
You and your partner are so excited to welcome your new neighbors to the neighborhood. You know they will become your new best friends. You just KNOW it!
The day arrives, and with a bottle of wine in one hand and your towel in the other, you walk down to their home and ring the doorbell. You’re not the first to arrive. There are several hundred other people there ahead of you! Where did they come from? Who let them in? But you smile, introduce yourselves to the new owners, and join the other guests who are on tour of the home.
Immediately, you are shocked, and without thinking, start telling the other guests about the house.
“They should NOT have used that color on the dining room walls! That’s the most ugly color I know of!”
“What were they thinking? That bathroom is horrible! Did you see the ceramic tile they chose?”
The layout of the home is all wrong. Why would they have put the utility room where they did? A utility room does NOT belong on the second floor!”
“Why did they make me take my shoes off at the door? My feet aren’t dirty! Stupid rule, if you ask me.”
About an hour later, your host and hostess invite everyone to meet them outside for a picnic and pool party. FINALLY!
You go outside, claim your lounge chairs by the pool, strip off your clothes, set down your towels and jump in naked. As you come up for air, you notice that no one else is in the water. They are all looking at you with their mouths hanging open in aghast. The host of the party asks you to get out of the water, and hands you a towel. He leads you out of sight of the crowd, and looks at you. You wonder what is wrong.
“I’m shocked,” he says. “I invited you to our open house because I have seen you looking at our home since the construction started. I knew you were interested in it, and because you live just a few houses away and are around our age, we hoped you would have a lot in common with us and become good friends. But all you have done is complain and bad mouth us and our choices. This is our home. We built it in the style we like, we decorated it ourselves in the colors we love, and we paid for it with our own money. “
“Oh, and one more thing… You might not know this, but I am the pastor of the church down the road. See those people over there by the pool? The ones with their swimming suits on? That is my entire congregation. I know all of those people, and they know me. We are friends. No, better yet, we are family. Please keep your clothes on when you visit my home. And if you can’t talk nicely about me behind my back, please do not return.”
Facebook groups are no different. The person who created the group gets to choose the wallpaper, drapes and colors. The person who created the group gets to set the rules for all who enter. If you don’t like the way it looks, if you don’t like the people in the group or the rules which are in place, grab your towel and leave. You will be the one everyone is talking about, and you might not want to hear what they have to say.