I stepped away from Facebook for a while; two years ago I took my friends on FB down from I think a couple thousand (+) to 7. Just family. I almost went deleted it all together but the photos…ahhh, the photos and memories were the best part of it.

When I started coming back online, I promised myself I’d make Facebook the place I wanted it to be. I was going to do more to get back to my #iamgrateful and #iamthankful posts. I got a lot of negativity about these posts, but I also realized through DMs and messages how many people kind of looked forward to them. So I wanted to make this a place that brought me happiness and positive energy (I needed that in spades, especially last year, as I think many of us did).

May be an image of text that says 'Jean Rowe Suneet Bhatt you made my day. Usually if there's any kind of different view, people are mean. You have in a way restored some hope. sincerely thank you. Like Reply 3h Suneet Bhatt Jean Rowe ditto to you. Like Reply 3h ditto to you. Thank you.'

There are a lot of ways I’ve used FB to get there; but one of the most powerful has been jumping into the comment section of really heated posts and trying to see if I could find common ground with people. And it’s been amazing.

Today was that example; where I saw a woman comment on Joe BIden’s inauguration, and go down a path of slamming him for wanting to defund police.

The discussion we had in the comments was super positive. Even though around us, people were slamming her (and even laughing at me) for how we shared our perspectives.

What was awesome though, was where we ended. Giving each other just a little sprinkle of positivity and hope. That we can find common ground, even the smallest slivers.

When you put enough of those slivers together, you get steps, then stairs, and then, maybe, one day, bridges.

#iamgrateful and #iamthankful for some of the people I’ve met. Who have helped me get past the beliefs they have and into the reasons why. I am hopeful. And of all I know, I know one thing for sure: hate has never changed a mind.

On the day between MLK Day and Inauguration Day, I found hope in what many believe to be the most disappointing part of our virtual world; the comment section.

I found hope, and sometimes even, I’ve found friendship there.

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