Once again, over the last few days we have been witnesses to acts of unspeakable violence and hate.
Once again, our differences have torn us apart. I don’t understand.
I don’t understand how someone can hate an entire race, creed, orientation; I don’t understand how someone’s heart can grow so hardened that the fears of our differences bring us to such a place and I am thankful for that lack of understanding.
For decades, I suppose centuries, our differences have continued to define us. At what point will we find our similarities are so much more important than our differences?
Unfortunately, these acts of violence have hardened all of our hearts. We send our love to victims, we pray for entire cities and we tweet about our heartbreak, but what do we actually do?
It’s not about guns, or politics, it’s about hearts, minds and a lack of understanding.
There are billions of people on the planet, each one of us different and that is what makes the world such an amazing place. I can’t fathom a world where everyone was like me, short, fat, bald, old white guy, how boring is that? What makes the world so amazing is our differences, our vast beliefs, religions, races, why can’t we seem to accept that and get along?
Our society has grown so hardened that we witness these senseless acts and then go on about our day, we just keep moving along and wait for the next atrocity to happen, we then send out thoughts and prayers and wait for the next, unfortunately it seems on a weekly basis.
Like all of you, my heart breaks a bit more each time one of these mass murders takes place and I am lost, I am lost to know what to do, I am lost to understand…. I am lost.
I don’t think I am the only one who is lost, I think we all are, we are lost to find answers when the fringe of our society begins to define us.
This isn’t a Democrat or a Republican issue, it isn’t an American issue, it is a human issue, one that brings us down instead of building us up.
I will always believe that 99.999999999999999% of the planet is good, but sadly today that infinitesimal percentage that is filled with hate and rage define us. Our fringe should be just that, fringe, not the voices that we hear most often, but the ones who are set aside and witnessed to about the goodness of humanity and not encouraged and held up as a voice that should be leading our charge.
What do we do as people to stamp out this hate? What do we do to celebrate our similarities and allow good to overcome evil? What do we do?
Several years ago there was a movement in our society, it was begun by young people and it was symbolized by four letters…. WWJD?
What would Jesus do, a simple phrase with a simple answer….. LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
Jesus gave this simple command to his people, he didn’t say love one another except for those you disagree with. He didn’t tell us to only love those who were like us, he told us to love all people, everyone.
We can’t love when we continue to allow our differences to separate us, if we are to truly love we must first look at how we are alike and then in voices of compassion, resolution and understanding we must work together to work together to overcome our differences.
I’m not a Bible scholar, but I have studied. I can’t find a place in the Bible where we are told to love someone unless they are Black, Brown, Yellow, White, Jewish, Gay, Muslim, the only command I see is LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
At some point, if we are to survive as a people love has to overcome the hatred that we have for one another. Hatred of our differences will only continue to tear us apart, continue our heartbreak and our tweets of compassion, when a tweet is simply too late.
Thankfully, all hatred doesn’t end in violence and death. In our society today, we see people being harassed on a night out with a loved one, hate is hate. We tear each other down over our beliefs, families are torn apart , people we value as friends are swept aside over simple differences. Imagine how things could change if we just talked to each other, kept the temperature to a slow boil and discussed differences to find solutions like respectful humans.
I don’t hold myself aside from these actions, I am as guilty as anyone else, maybe one day we will all learn and embrace our similarities and stop letting our differences overtake us.
Sadly, there are few places where we are safe anymore. Churches, synagogues, restaurants, nightclubs, the workplace, have all been attacked. Our places of work and play are now battlegrounds and sites of mass murder, it is truly a sad commentary on our world.
We can do better, we must do better, we must find a way to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
I don’t understand a hatred that engulfs someone, I don’t understand hatred of entire group of people, I don’t understand….. and I hope I never will.