Hate is a deceiving emotion. We often think it makes us feel powerful, mighty and fierce. But hate is devious, manipulative and subtle. It slowly clouds over your mind. It slowly weighs you down. And it slowly eats away at your heart. Hate is a burden we carry without properly realising. It never does as much damage to another as it does to ourselves. Try practicing love instead. And I don’t only mean love in the traditional sense of kindness and passion. But also forgiveness, and if not forgiveness then acceptance, and if not acceptance then tolerance. Try practicing love with yourself as much as with others. It works wonders.
Hold onto who you are. Hold onto your dignity, compassion and enthusiasm. Hold onto your patience, tolerance and forgiveness. Hold onto those who inspire and energise you, who laugh and cry with you. Hold onto love, the love others give you and your capacity to love endlessly. Hold onto the beautiful memories of times past. Hold onto hope for the future and for the unknown. Hold onto today. Hold on tight to the good things in life. Be careful they don’t slip through the cracks or shatter on the floor. Not all great things happen twice.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that. ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us. And the world will live as one. ~ John Lennon
Pray for Paris and Pray for the World
(Image: created myself using picmonkey)
It is obvious that we will never agree with everybody. We won’t understand their choices, their allegiances, and their behaviour. Our perspectives are coloured by our circumstances. But there is no need to be aggressive, disrespectful or disdainful towards these people. Because where does that get us? Do we think so highly of ourselves and our opinions? We end up spreading bitterness, distrust, conflict, misery and regret, when we should be nurturing compassion, kindness, tolerance, respect and support. Choose your words carefully. Be conscious of the acts you make against others. Because you will never regret being kind.
Although our differences by definition are said to separate us, they in fact bring us together in a number of ways. Here are a few reasons why our differences are awesome:
- What separates us helps us grow – from our differences to other people, there is an wealth of learning material to be gained from how other people live, interact and react, by observing people’s strengths and mistakes when faced with certain situations. Another’s achievements and assets raise our expectations of ourselves and our desire to be better.
- What separates us broadens our perspectives – to make something more successful, to power progress, to establish peace and love in the world, we need different perspectives. Sometimes our viewpoint is too blind on its own, but coupled with others, it is powerful. And so, what separates us also binds us into a common vision.
- What separates us gives us abundance – life would be monotonous and boring if we were all the same. But when we all excel in different ways and travel different walks of life, life is full of new ideas that we will all benefit from, whether we just appreciate them, use them, or want to model them. No path will ever be the same, but it has been created by all those who stood at a different point, at a different time, and in a different way.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognise, accept, and celebrate those differences. – Audre Lorde
Everybody should feel free to be who they are. Nobody should have to hide who they are. I think some of us are becoming apathetic, tired, frustrated or overwhelmed with the inundation of talk about equality and rights: sexuality, gender, race, religion. Of course, we should be happy with the progress we’ve already made, but honestly, we are still far from an equal, accepting and tolerating society, and we cannot pretend otherwise. We need to keep talking, acting, and evolving. With every little choice, word and action, we define the world; they spark, influence and spread to all those we touch, physically and online. We have the power to create a society where we are all free and loved. It will always start with us but it doesn’t have to end with us. Remember: What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.
Even though the idea of “world peace” is nowadays often associated with comedy and satire or with idealisation and fantasy, I think many of us would crawl through a sewage tank if it would bring peace to the world. Perhaps tolerance is a suitable stepping stone, because it is something that we can all practice, being able to coexist in harmony in the environments we inhabit, including our neighbourhoods, schools and work spaces.
The reality is, we all have different beliefs. Even with the umbrella terms of major religions and scientific bodies, there are countless shoots of different sections within those. We all see the world differently and act accordingly. Yet, we are all equal. To claim that our beliefs, thoughts and attitudes are valid is to allow others to also claim theirs as valid. To claim a right to hold them is to allow others the right to hold their own too, even if they conflict with ours.
Let’s try to be less judgemental and more understanding. less critical and more praising, less hateful and more loving. Let’s not approach violently those who embody a conflicting perspective to our own. If we cannot understand them or even respect them, let’s at the very least tolerate them and move on. We can stand up for our own beliefs without crushing others. As we continue to wade through times of conflict and strife, let’s remember that the world is also full of many good people and good deeds, and we can all contribute by being good people ourselves and performing good deeds too.
My heart and prayers are with those in Paris.