Love One Another…. It’s That Simple.

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.

Life’s Playlist…. Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert

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Life’s Playlist…. Same Love by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring Mary Lambert

Listen here

Friday’s Hero ~ 5.17.13

FRIDAY’SThere really isn’t anything awesome about the teen years.

Filled with teen angst, pimples, hormones, drama, drama, drama, trying to fit in, body issues, first loves, first heartbreak, not being the best athlete, not being the smartest, not being in the cool clique….. UGH, let’s face it the teen years suck!

Now imagine trying to go through the teen years knowing you are different, and in many instances living in fear that others will find out about your difference… imagine being a gay teen.

The normal trials and heartaches of the teen years are only amplified when the confusion of being gay enters into the equation.

For many of us we did everything we could to suppress these emotions, for many of us we prayed constantly to be “changed” for many of us, we considered suicide.

Thank God, for today’s youth there are programs that help them move through these feelings and lead the most productive lives possible.

The bullying and bigotry remain rampant, however today there are organizations that help young people know they aren’t the only ones who have the feelings they do, and that they are part of a larger community of acceptance and love that will help them move through the dark days.

Two such organizations are this week’s FRIDAY’S HEROES…  The Trevor Project and It Gets Better. 

Both organizations help gay youth cope with their self discovery and in the case of The Trevor Project, provides a service designed to prevent teen suicides.

These organizations build a bridge for young gay citizens and their heterosexual counterparts that were not available 20 years ago, these organizations save lives. 

If you know a young person who could benefit from the services of The Trevor Project or It Gets Better, please give them links to the organizations above or they may call anonymously to,

The Trevor Project:  1 866-488-7386. (866-4-U-Trevor)

Helping to battle the struggles of being gay helps us all realize that we are people first, we are ALL God’s children and we all deserve the respect of our fellow man as we make our way through this life that can sometimes be difficult.

Providing hope to the next generation, the work of “The Trevor Project” and “It Gets Better,” this week’s Friday’s Heroes!

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Friday’s Hero 3.15.13

FRIDAY’SYesterday, Ohio’s Junior Senator, Rob Portman spoke out in support of gay marriage.

The senator’s comments were a reversal of his previous position dating back to 1996 when he voted in favor of DOMA as a member of the House.

Senator Portman, a Republican, has publicly been an ardent opponent of gay marriage until yesterday.

His shift in ideology began two years ago when his son, a college Freshman at Yale University came out as a gay man.

This week’s Hero could be Senator Rob Portman, but it isn’t, no, the REAL hero of this story is Will Portman the young son of Sen. Portman who spoke out.

Will Portman and many other young Americans like him are changing the face of our nation.  By simply living their lives as productive citizens, honoring who they are,  their legacies and their futures they are forging a path that will eventually bring equality to all.

This young generation of gay Americans is proving that their lives are no different from their heterosexual brothers and sisters and they deserve the same rights and recognition.

For their convictions, for their dignity and for changing hearts and minds one life at a time, I choose Young Gay America represented by Will Portman as the Friday’s Hero for March 15, 2013.

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