Love Not Hate

I have had so many emotions over the past few days — sadness, anger, hope, despair, fear, love, disgust, shock, and concern, but not hate.  I thank the Lord above and my parents who helped me know that hate is wrong and will not help.

If there is anything I hate, it is bigotry, racism, violence, abuse, harm to others, and hate of others.  I have learned though that hating these things cannot change them.  Instead action has to be taken to stand up against them, lessons have to be taught to others, ignorance must be removed with knowledge, and love has to be shown, given, and demonstrated.

Hate is a cancer that divides and conquers.  Hate seeps into everything we are and what we do if we let it.  So, I have tried my best not to hate.  For years I thought that hating someone or something was too strong an emotion to have.  I just didn’t think I could give that much energy to anything.

I have disliked things very strongly, have been furiously angry, and sometimes indifferent, but have tried to catch myself from slipping into hate.  It hasn’t always worked since I am human and have many flaws.  But I then worked hard to change my thinking, my attitude, and my heart.

I have prayed a lot during those times for the Lord to help me and show me that as Dr. King so wisely said, only love can remove hate.  And I have been praying in recent days.  And weeping, and struggling, and worrying.  And, I have been encouraged that Ian loves people of all kinds and he knows that the hate is wrong.

What saddens me is how quickly and easily so many people hate.  It seems to even be a badge of honor to some.  And, as I said in my last blog, I just don’t get that.  I don’t understand living a life when that is at the forefront of thoughts, actions, and activities.  I don’t understand hating someone who is different.  And frankly, I am thankful that I don’t.

I also want people to realize how wrong what is being done is.  There is such a long history of violence, brutality, and hate in our country and others in the world.  I want us to move on from that, learn from our mistakes, and not repeat them.  I want to remember where we came from and not go back.  We have made progress but there is still such a long way to go.

I am trying to do my part to stand up against the hate, the violence, the brutality, the ignorance, and the intolerance.  I am trying to instead encourage love, peace, knowledge, and respect.  I want us to talk with those who are different than we are.  I want us to do so without malice and preconceived notions.

This is a lot to ask, isn’t it?  After all, there is such deep-seeded feeling with these issues.  I for one think we can and must do better — for ourselves, our children, our grandchildren, and future generations.  I am hopeful yet skeptical and concerned.  I want us to move past the way it’s always been and try to improve and be kinder and gentler people.

My prayer and hope is that we can begin to heal and work on closing this divide that seems to keep growing.  Will you join me in choosing love not hate?  Will you join me in making a better world for our young people?  Will you join me in helping not harming?

I Have A Dream

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal.’..

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Today we celebrate the amazing man who gave this stirring speech more than 50 years ago — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  He was peaceful in his mission to have all people treated the same.  I admire so much about him and realize that so much must still be done.

Dr. King was an amazing speaker, pastor, activist, and humanitarian.  He did so much to help bridge the gap between people.   He was for love, not hate, he was for civil disobedience, not violence, and he was for kindness not judgement of others.  May we all live this way.

He is one of my favorite speakers ever and there are so many quotes that he said that are wonderful.  His words are moving and a call to action.  I am sharing some of them at the end of this blog.

I grew up being taught to love others and treat all people with respect.  I am thankful for that.  Kirk and I are teaching Ian to live the same way.  I love that he doesn’t see a person’s color or a particular religion, but instead sees a friend — a boy or girl he can talk with and play with.  Children are amazing like that.  I hope that we can learn from them.

In today’s world, some people have trouble with someone else’s skin color and others with someone else’s religion.  This continues to baffle me and trouble me.  How can we still be so hateful to others who are different than ourselves?  How can we make snap judgements just because someone has different hair or skin color or worships differently?  Just because they are different, does that make them bad or wrong?  I don’t think so.

In all races and religions there are good people and there are bad people.  My prayer is that the good will outweigh the bad and that we can spread kindness.  I pray that we can remember to love one another as Christ has loved us, or as the Golden Rule has taught us.  May we drive out hate and distrust with kindness and compassion.  May we support and love each other.

Here are a few of Dr. King’s quotes:

  • “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
  • I have decided to stick with love.  Hate is too great a burden to bear.
  • Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.
  • Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.
  • If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you to go on in spite of all.  And so today I still have a dream.   
  • The time is always right to do what is right.
  • Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.
  • Life’s most persistent and urgent question is “What are you doing for others?”
  • We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.
  • Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
  • We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies.
  • A genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus but a molder of consensus.”

May we love as Dr. King loved, may we speak up as he did, and may we remember to always be kind to each other.