“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
SO. MANY. THOUGHTS.
In light of recent events, I have decided to talk about a topic/issue that is a little messy and political but also important and relevant. As most of you know, a man has recently been arrested in Portland, Oregon due to stabbing and killing two men on a train for defending two teenage girls from the hate speech that spewed out of the passenger’s mouth. Things like “Go back to Saudi Arabia” and “Go kill yourself” were said to these two teenage girls and the result left two heroic men dead. I wanted to highlight this incident, but as I was drafting this piece, I couldn’t leave out these other hateful events.
LeBron James reported racial slurs were spray painted on his home, Manchester experienced a terrorist attack, a noose was found at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. All of these events were reported within two weeks. TWO WEEKS. And I could go on and say that the news is guilty of reporting all of these horrific things, making us feel like this world is falling apart when it isn’t- but that reality is that these things happened. But why?
The man in Portland would say he killed those men because he is a patriot. The individual who left a noose in the museum would probably say he is also a patriot. The terrorists in Manchester…a great patriot, I’m sure. But when does patriotism coincide with hate? Why does freedom of speech mean that we make people feel less than? No matter how you spin it, hate is at the root of these events. And maybe it wasn’t patriotism that drove these people, maybe it was religion. But in that case I’d also have to question the true motive because when does religion correspond with hate? Further, when does someone’s beliefs trump the beliefs of another? News flash, it doesn’t.
So what does this have to do with self care?
I have to be honest, when Donald Trump was elected into office, I was drained. Sad, disappointed, mad, and hateful. And you don’t need to agree with my views or emotions about him, but I want to make the point that hate is exhausting. It took so much of my mental energy to have so much hate inside of me. Not only that, but how does hate benefit me? How does it benefit the world? And how would I be any better than the people mentioned above if I acted out of hate? So I’ve decided to stick with love. Does this mean I love Trump? Absolutely not. But rather than protesting out of hate for him, I’ll protest out of love for those populations who are now suffering. Instead of writing posts about how much I hate him, I’ll write posts about how much I value others and what they contribute to our society. Instead of having unhealthy debates about what is morally right and wrong with words such as “libtards” or “conservatard”, I’ll speak with empathy and compassion because putting “tard” at the end of any word is STILL offensive.
So let us all think about how hate affects us. How it’s driving us. The kind of energy it puts into society. And I hope we can all make small changes to act in love because if not, how are we any better?