My heart has been hurting for quite some time. It’s not pain that easily subsides. And chances are, you are feeling it too. It is pain that is echoed in the path of our country and the division that is occurring.
This is not a political post. This is a post about us and how we can stop the escalating anger, bitterness, and hate.
The outcry is real, the pain is intolerable, the reality is scary, but we are powerful beings who have the capacity and capability to make great change. Let’s do just that!
I believe, much of our hate centers around the creation of enemies. Enemies where there are none.
We have come to the point in our country where we enemy-fy difference. This enemification happens when we stop listening to each other and we begin to fear differences of thought, belief, and perspective. We abandon the truth that these differences reveal greater solutions, understandings, and strengths.
As Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” Currently, we are divided. I don’t think that is a surprise to anyone. And as I’ve spoken with friends who have gone oversees or correspond with those who live in foreign countries; the world sees it too.
The hope – we have gone through this before in our history: the Civil War, the civil rights movement, the Goldwater v. Johnson presidential race, etc. and we have Risen stronger together! We have healed the divide before. We can do it again!
Some answers to healing can be found in the question, “How did we get here?”
Observation tells us:
We label each other with surprising ease and judgement. Forgetting our own imperfections and condemning the imperfections of others based on our own internal narratives. We make assumptions instead of asking questions.
We’ve stopped having real conversations. We listen with annoyance or eye rolling as people express their thoughts that may conflict with ours. Instead of asking questions, finding commonalities, and challenging positions with civility, we wait to pounce and prove them wrong.
In the end, we allow for intolerance to take hold and we have created a new enemy.
So let’s do the opposite!
A part of the solution is straight-forward, yet it requires dedication, strength, consistency, and courage.
We drive out fear and hate with kindness, hope, and love! Think about how we want to be treated and then take it to a higher level of kindness. When we hear words of hate; listen with kindness and answer with love. When someone talks out of fear; listen and then answer with hope.
Unlike math, when a negative multiplied by a negative equals a positive, humans don’t work that way. Responding to negative words and actions with negative words and actions gives us the situation we are faced with. Negatives can only be fought with consistent positives. Fear can only be fought with HOPE. Hate can only be fought with LOVE. And darkness can only be defeated with LIGHT.
Awaken to the possibilities you have to make a difference! It won’t happen overnight or with single interactions, but we have the amazing capability to RISE above the negativity that is playing out amongst us. We have the ability to make peace and make a difference to everyone who is within our ripple of influence.
It is through embracing our difference that we will find strength, but it is through LOVE that we will RISE!
By: Brian Lidle
Facebook: Brian Lidle