My post for this morning was on a completely different track until I sat down and caught up with the news from the weekend.
Today, I wanted to talk about traveling, animals, fabulous food and the ultimate good in the world; almost anything but the hate that the world witnessed in Virginia. I wanted to spread love and peace with optimistic ideas, as I always attempt to do, but the harrowing images and news of what happened in Charlottesville is weighing heavy on my mind and I kept retreating back to it. So, instead of writing about what I wanted today, I decided to write about hate and love and what it means for unity across the nation and, ultimately, across the world.
Humanity on earth will always consist of extremists who are seeking for other’s understanding of their views, thus carrying out violent acts when they’re faced with opposition. We are currently witnessing this with terrorism, racial groups, and religion. The entire purpose of terrorism is because we are not agreeing with what they believe in, which is not anything new. 123 of the wars fought throughout time are religious-based (Lurie, HuffPost).
My question is, why do people think that violence the answer to everything? I try and see the good in its entirety and I’m constantly seeking peace, not only within myself but within the world around me. In today’s day and age, that’s proven very hard to do. But, if I really did have to fight for something, I would do it with love and extreme kindness.
When radicals want people to see their views and are carrying out violent acts thinking that this is the correct way to do so, those in defense rebel back with violence as well. White supremacists are marching in rallies, exercising their First Amendment rights, and it’s counteracted with violence. Movements like BLM and Antifa will do the same; they will march for their beliefs and hold rallies, and it’s met with violence and criticism. In 1968, college students and factory workers in France went on strike to oppose capitalism and consumerism, among other things. The peaceful protests were met with “forceful confrontation by…police” and Charles de Gaulle sought to use the “military to restore order,” ultimately fighting peace with violence (Nati, Oddee).
Why does it seem as if the majority of society is unable to forego identification with groups and counteract these actions with peace in lieu of violence? Instead of hurling ourselves into the mass, why don’t we quietly and peacefully sit back without condemning others? Why can’t humanity understand that not everyone needs to think the same way? That is what makes America so great anyways. It is a country of immigrants with heterogenous beliefs and views, races, religions, and cultures. It’s inevitable that everyone will have differentiating stances and perspectives and our neighbors will undoubtedly have other opinions than ours. But, why does that make us want to fight them? Why is it so important for us to make others believe in our beliefs?
I thought that a couple of verses from the chapter Luke could help these radicals understand that love will allow them to see a more positive response rather than hate.
Luke 6:37 says:
“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.”
Is this too difficult for humans to relate to? Why must we condemn others for having altering views? Why can’t we forgive people who have done us wrong? Forgiveness creates ultimate happiness. Why live our lives constantly being unforgiving of those that have chastised us? There are always going to be people that persecute and patronize us. It’s our responsibility to respond with nothing but love and kindness.
Luke 6:39 says:
“Can the blind lead the blind?”
Can people who are imperceptive to social integration and peace lead others? Can someone who makes every action out of hate lead others? No, their toxicity will only create more hate.
And my favorite verse of the day is from Luke 6:41-42 and it says:
“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”
Whether you believe in the Bible or not, this verse sends a great message. How can we have an opinion and try to persuade others of our thinking when our way of thinking is just as toxic? We cannot help others when we haven’t helped ourselves first. We cannot be a teacher when we are being a follower.
And ultimately, you cannot fight hate with hate. You must fight hate with love.
I love my country, I love this world, and I love people who are willing to stand up to the wrongdoings with love, all the while denouncing hate. Create an aura around you that emits nothing but love, and you will get the same in return.