Learning How to Fight Hatred
This is not something we typically address on The Space We Share, but in a world where mere difference of opinion is cause for so much division and hatred, I feel the need to share my heart on the matter.
In light of the horrific school shooting the other day, my news feed has been blowing up with thoughts and opinions. This seems only natural and right since it is most certainly a matter worth discussing and a loss worthy of grieving. I am heartbroken over yet another shooting. But I’m equally burdened by the ripple effect that these acts of violence always seem to inevitably cause. Harsh, unwavering lines are drawn in the sand, and accusations come hurling out like arrows.
I get it. We are angry and fed up, and sometimes yelling feels like the only way we will get our voices heard. But what if we are playing right into the enemy’s hand? What if the devastation of the seventeen lost lives was merely a catalyst to spread venom and division like wildfire?
passion can either be a powerful tool for positive change or a lethal weapon for division and judgement
With that said, here is what I want to say to you.
To the activists and advocates — Keep fighting injustice and lobbying for change. Your voice matters and change is possible. Write the letter to Congress, set up peace rallies, be a voice for the voiceless. But please remember that passion can either be a powerful tool for positive change or a lethal weapon for division and judgement. Remember who the real enemy is. It’s not a person or a policy. It’s fear and hatred. Unity should be your greatest ally. Try to see things from other people’s perspectives, no matter how set you are in your beliefs. Love is the only force that can truly drive out hate.
Also, just something to keep in mind, fellow believers: there is a time for flipping tables, but in all of Jesus’ ministry, it only happened once.
To the hard leftists and uber conservatives—remember that no one has it 100% right. And more often that not, we both want the same things. We just have different ideas on how to get there. I’m not saying there aren’t issues worth discussing. But back to my previous statement, hate cannot drive out hate. If you want to see policies change, fight clean. Rise above the dirty politics and BE the change. Volunteer for organizations you care about. Change starts at the bottom.
To my fellow Millennials, Gen X, Baby Boomers, etc.—please quit pointing the finger. For goodness sake, it’s for the world’s benefit that we are so different. We have different strengths and weaknesses and unique ways of looking at things. We have grown up in very different times in the world. Please don’t be so quick to make generalizations. It’s not fair and it’s divisive. Learn from each other. Ralph Waldo Emerson had it right when he said “In my walks, every man I meet is my superior in some way, and in that I learn from him.”
So, to the activist and the pacifist, liberal and conservative, people of all ages, nationalities, personalities— There is a place for you. I may not carry the same beliefs as you, but you are loved and you matter all the same.
Use your platform for good. For every ounce of hatred that exists in this world, I believe unequivocally that there is twice as much love and grace. We just have to start giving it away more freely.