“We are more than who we occasionally quote online.” -Elizabeth Francis
A friend of mine wrote those words in response to someone taking an issue with a quote she posted on her Facebook page. The person who provoked this response, interestingly enough, did not appear to be bothered by the actual quote. Their issue seemed to be with the fact that my friend quoted someone who espouses other ideas that they find somewhat objectionable. My friend’s reminder that “we are more than who we occasionally quote online” was a way of challenging her critic (as well as the rest of us) to remember an insight whose importance should be highlighted given our generation’s propensity for sharing the writings and works of others via social media:
The depth and sophistication of people’s personalities and philosophies cannot be adequately understood simply by analyzing the imperfections and controversial aspects of the people whose work they admire.
Every piece of art we ever admire will have been made by a human being with an imperfect personality and an imperfect philosophy. Every book, article, or quote we ever enjoy will have been authored by a human being with an imperfect personality and an imperfect philosophy.
We would all be forbidden from listening to any music, attending any plays, watching any movies, reading any stories, and laughing at any jokes if our capacity to appreciate the works of others made us somehow responsible for, or associated with, every aspect of their imperfection.
Thankfully, there’s more to who we are than the idiosyncrasies and quirky aspects of the people whose work we choose to celebrate and share.