I wanted to share this piece because it really speaks to some of the hard work involved in loving people. It is entirely possible to love someone who has a position that you will never agree with. It is possible to care about the well-being of someone who may want to do you harm. Many people, especially women, LGBTQ, and ethnic/racial minorities, have faced this type of disdain, fear, and hatred in our lives. Many people have not.
These times are bringing a lot of raw, naked, and virulent hate to the forefront of our lives and it is clearly shocking to a lot of people. That said, this is the time for those of us who love humanity to step up, not step out of the way, because whatever love we have for humanity is very much needed today. This is the time for having hard conversations with hard-hearted people. This is the time to allow them to clear the pus of fear and hatred from their spirit and give them an opportunity to see clearly what humanity is and heal. This is a time of war…but not a war of bullets and bombs, but a war of open hearts and balms.
Sir Edmund Burke once said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men (and women) to do nothing.” It may feel right and righteous to avoid those you disagree with, to shun those who spew fear/hate or to simply remain quiet and judge from the sidelines. I am telling you that those times are gone. Now is a time to examine your own heart, survey the landscape and ask whether the hate you ignore today may take away that which you love tomorrow. There is no guarantee that you will change the mind or heart of those you discuss with or confront, but you will know that person at a far deeper level and they will know that you (and those you love) are not merely nameless, faceless lambs to the slaughter. Whether you workout or not, the strongest muscle in your body is your heart…it is time that we flexed that muscle with the intention to confront fear and hate where we may find it.
P.S. I am honored to know the writer of this piece and the author of his own love journey.
Yesterday, on the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr’s assassination we received the news that a student at my high school drove his truck to the school flying the Confederate flag. The flag was nothing new, a common occurrence around here. The noose in the bed of his truck was not. Today, I learned that the student was one of mine. A student that I see every other day, a student I say hello to when I see him in the hallways, a student I ask about his family and how his quest to get a classic truck was going. This student, my student, brought these symbols of hate to our school.
During my classes today many of my students expressed disgust at the behavior, condemning him for his actions, but when I asked my students what they have done when they witnessed this sort of behavior, what actions…
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Race is a social concept used to categorize humans into large and distinct populations or groups by anatomical, cultural, ethnic, genetic, geographical, historical, linguistic, religious, and/or social affiliation. First used to refer to speakers of a common language and then to denote national affiliations, in the 17th century, people began to use the term to relate to observable physical (i.e. phenotypical) traits. Such use promoted hierarchies favorable to differing ethnic groups. Starting from the 19th century, the term was often used, in a taxonomic sense, to denote genetically differentiated human populations defined by phenotype.(Source: Wikipedia)