Why? Why do we have to spread so much hate? Why are we using the fact that we have had enough bad things happening as an excuse to spread hate? Why are we allowing ourselves to make assumptions and then make judgements based on those assumptions? Whatever happened to asking questions? What happened to no question is a stupid question?
I think it happened very slowly. It has been building and I see it reaching critical mass. I think it is important to state what we will and won’t tolerate. However, sacrificing the inherit worth and dignity of each person is not the way to go. Insults are only hurtful. Name calling to get your point across is hate. Yet we are grappling with it because PEOPLE are BEING killed. The people we are name calling are stupid and causing the trouble to begin with. I have heard it explained away a thousand times. Often people even bring their religious beliefs into it. I have even seen people use the quote “If your religion requires you to hate then you need a new religion” against Muslims. They are the problem. What is wrong with this though is that it is just as hateful. It is actually not only hateful but ignorant. We are judging an entire religion based on the actions of a few. I am pretty sure if the Jesus you believed in were here, he would call foul on that.
Really you could blanket that to make it apply to just about every hateful situation I have heard in the news lately. We are judging an entire groups of people: Race, Religion, Gender and even Parenting by the actions of a few.
Haven’t we learned that it starts out so slow. People who have gotten fet up with the way things are and want change or don’t want change. People that don’t agree with the government and start protesting. The KKK were resisting change, The Nazi’s wanted change. The KKK started as a social club. A SOCIAL CLUB fueled by hate and the results were horrendous.A social club that elevated themselves over other people because of a difference in RACE. When are we going to learn that meeting hate with hate only gets us more hate and death?
Okay put that on hold for a minute and let me take a little side track.
Recently I have been listening to Brene Brown on Audible. She makes a valid point and one that I have been trying to implement in my daily life. What if you had it on the highest authority that you believe in that every person you met was doing the best they could. Not just the best but the very best. If that doesn’t convict your feelings about a situation I am pretty sure nothing will. That person who took forever in the line in front of you? The very best they could. That person that cut you off? Yup they were doing the best they could. This was very hard for me to understand at first. It wasn’t until later in the book it became more clear. I can’t judge their best based on my standards. However great I feel my standards are they are not the other person’s standards. Huh. Well shit. Look at me being a judgmental bastard. How would I feel if someone judged me based on one of my worst moments, when I was barely hanging on? When I was so stressed out I didn’t even have patience for myself let alone anyone else. DAMN! now I feel bad. So I need to change that.
Now take that and add love. Stir in some U.U. principles ( The inherent worth and dignity of every person;Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;) .
Take a deep breath and tell yourself they are doing the best they can.
This is all great but how can we apply this to daily life?
Instead of judging people and being put out that they are taking so long in the line, I am trying to remember to make eye contact(that’s an important way to value people) and smile. You don’t have to say a word. Smiles project love. Especially when you let it show in your eyes. Which kind of happens when you stop and think they are doing the best they can. It might be just the smile they need that day to keep going.
I have found myself smiling more, enjoying myself more. It is not like I never held a door for someone or helped someone. It has just become almost a basic instinct reaction. Even when I think I don’t have time. The moment I think that, I take a deep breath. This is what works for me. Time is so precious am I really going to waste it being upset someone was in my way for thirty seconds longer than necessary? Oops there it is again. To me it is thirty seconds longer than necessary, if they are doing the best they can then is it really longer then necessary?
I am trying to make my basic instinct reaction one of love. What if everyone, everywhere started thinking like this? What if instead of name calling and demeaning people- we helped raise them up? We helped them improve on being the very best they can. When you look back there is always someone somewhere that helped you be the very best you can be. What if we made that our morning mantra.
I am doing the very best I can.
They are doing the very best they can.
Time is precious, embrace love.
I don’t even want to put the word hate in there. I don’t want to even say it, let alone think it.
This entire post was inspired by something I saw on Facebook. Shocking I know. It started from a pledge that I believe came from the 1000 Voices of Compassion speak
I made this pledge as well. I shared it on my facebook page. For a few days I kept it in mind.
Then Lo and behold Facebook steps in again, mainly because I am picky about what is allowed in my feed to begin with.
Well Shit, I think to myself I did it again. I had been losing my patience and bemoaning certain people to my friends. The good news is I can choose love. I can choose love not just for others but for myself too. I slipped. I am human. It is going to happen. I need to be just as gentle and loving with myself as I aim to be with others. So, even if I made a mistake and chose annoyance, I will choose love next.
If this speaks to you and makes you think, please share it. Share the love. Share the thoughts about love. Take the pledge yourself. Make it your phone wallpaper if you must to remember it. (I have done that before it is a very useful tool). BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY: LOVE.