I’m happy I’ve decided to choose love, but I’ll be honest it makes me all the more fearful for all the hate and fear I continue to see. Where are the moderate voices from our leaders? Where is the voice that teaches that hate can never destroy hate. I look back and I often wonder what would have happened if some of these great leaders of peace had not had their voices silenced over the years.
But I digress, I’m happy I decided to choose love as these other great men have shown me. I saw it yesterday when I had a contentious situation with another person. Rather than get angry and unleash a tirade of hate upon that person, pouring every bit of my malice against them, I instead detached myself from my hate, and looked upon their point of view with love.
While they continued in their attempt to rip me to shreds, I remained calm, listening with cool reason to everything they were saying. Some of it was upsetting, but I remembered an old adage about sticks and stones. So I waited, patiently, as spittle flew from their mouth and they continued to yell and scream.
When they finished, huffing and puffing, and out of breath from all the screaming anger, I asked them, “What did I do that angered you so? Have I yelled and screamed back at you in anger? Have I attempted to force aside your point of view and insert my own? No, I’ve done nothing but point out my point of view is different than yours.” I admit, I’m paraphrasing a bit.
Watching them scrape and fumble for an answer, finding they had nothing to say in return, it was satisfying to watch as they fumed. And after a moment, they calmed down and realized I was saying nothing to make them believe what I believed. They continued to relax themselves, and we talked for a bit, and everything was right between us.
Dr. King once said, “I choose love, hate is too great a burden to bear.” again, paraphrasing, and I love those words. I didn’t feel a shame, a guilt, a lessening from listening to this person. I heard their point of view, and calmly pointed out that I believed differently. While they were left fuming and ready to continue the fight, I never engaged them in the first place, so they found it impossible to fight me. It was only when they choose to let go of their hate that they started to listen. I don’t believe I changed this man’s mind. He still believes as he wants, but I do believe I offered him a newfound respect for some people on the other side.
I see these protests between brothers and sisters, people who should love one another. I’ve read just about every holy book I could get my hands on; I don’t know of an atheist handbook, but I would gladly read one to include their point of view. I freely admit I know none of these great books as a scholar should, but I have read them. To me there’s one message in all of them, love one another. Jesus tells us to love one another, Buddah said, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself”. Muhammad said, “None of you have faith until you love for your neighbor what you love for yourself”. None of these men are about hate to me.
Which is what makes the world around me all the more appalling.
When I turn on the news and I see one side saying “Black Lives Matter!” I say YES! I’m with you! You guys deserve to have a voice and be heard, if you feel you’re being unfairly treated!
And when another group stands up and says, “All Lives Matter!” I say YES!! And I stand and embrace my friends.
You would think these two groups would get along, if only they had embraced one another and listened to each other, instead of throwing up walls of hate and ignoring what either side is trying to say.
Now there’s a movement starting for “Blue Lives Matter!” and I can’t help but think that it’s insane it has come to this. It feels like drawing lines in the sand, and I don’t deny there are some shady practices all around the world, but does it really need to be said?
Not everyone screaming Black Lives Matter! Is black, a lot of your allies are white or other minorities. Hell, even with the shootings, I’ve seen some cops siding with you guys. All I ask is that you quit drawing lines in the sand. Keep the violence out of it.
Not everyone who says All Lives Matter! Is a racist, but for some reason I see a lot of a racist undercurrent in what they say. Doesn’t change what I said before, I still embrace those people as my brothers and sisters, because in a truly free America, they have a right to believe as they do. All I ask is that you quit drawing lines in the sand. Keep the violence out of it.
Why did Blue Lives Matter need to become a thing? I mean, I’m not trying to deny it’s movement, and what it is calling for, but that nice society that surrounds you on a daily basis? That’s kept by civil servants like the police. I’m not saying there are not sections that may be racist, I’m not saying they should be given free reign. I’m not even saying you should stop protesting against police, if that’s what you believe. I’m saying these men and women are on the streets trying to do nothing but keep themselves and others safe. All I ask is that you quit drawing lines in the sand. Keep violence out of it.
We need to quit killing one another. We need to start choosing to love. We need to quit giving into fear. Look at your fellow humans, look around and see all the good souls in the world. Realize that all that hate you see on the media, all that destructive force of malice, is but a small percentage of the population.
It only took one moment for me to decide to choose love. I ask that you take that moment, before you start to overreact with violence.