The Dogpile Effect

Photo by John Shardlow via flickr (Creative Commons)

Now about your love for one another we do not need to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love each other. And in fact, you do love all of God’s family throughout Macedonia. Yet we urge you, brothers and sisters, to do so more and more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you.

1 Thessalonians 4:9-11

We live in a dog pile society. Everyone has an opinion on everything. Their own opinion is superior to everyone else’s. And nothing gets us talking faster than repeating or adding to someone else’s opinion.

It’s the dog pile effect. It takes a mountain, makes a molehill, then it makes Mt. Everest. All in the name of “just talking.”

As if the collateral damage was worth it?

The annoying thing about the whole dog pile method is that, at the end of the day, it’s typically over things we don’t actually care about or effect us.

And while we all join in, and get injured by, the dog pile– we do it to other people! (It’s true that hurt people, hurt people.)

National politics? Office politics? Denominational politics? Church politics? Sure, I’m up on the news but I don’t really care enough to say… hurt a friends feelings by saying his opinion is stupid.

The bottom of the dog pile hurts

Broken bones. Broken dreams. Broken lives.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a big, fancy nationally known person or the guy handing out flyers at the grocery store. When criticism mounts, when accusations fly, when things get repeated to the point that it’s assumed to be true even before you take a serious second to think… all of that adds weight to the dog pile.

Stop it

O, that we would be different! That we would seek to understand before volleying an opinion. That we would differ in opinions in a way that honored, loved even, others.

There are things in this world that are worth destroying. But one another is not one of them.





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