Raising my voice.
The recent terror in Charlottesville begs me to use this forum to raise my voice.
Hate is not the answer.
I believe that words matter, but meaning matters more. Is hate the right word to use here?
Definition of hate: intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury.
Interesting how the source of this extreme emotion is noted in the dictionary. The definition caused me to pause and go deeper. Isn’t the emotion of hate – in and of itself – natural? Isn’t it how we respond to this intense emotion that matters? There are things I hate. And what’s happening right now in our country is one of them. I think feeling and being honest about our feelings and feeling hate is okay, but I resolve to not respond in the same manner that is the very thing which I despise. So, I kept thinking and looking for another word.
Definition of supremacy: the state or condition of being superior to all others in authority, power, or status.
Supremacy is not the answer.
Supremacy – thinking oneself is better than another – makes me mad. From judging schoolmates by their clothes, to all sizes and shapes of prejudice, to judgment based on education or economics, to cliques formed that exclude others, to respect in the workplace.
Differing opinions are vital to growth. When colliding views are communicated with respect the conversations fuel debate, learning, and ultimately understanding. I think the enemy is overconfidence and thinking that we know “the answer” and that there is only one way, one right, one correct answer. When dealing with complex issues that involve human beings there is rarely only one “right answer.” If anyone is totally sure the he or she has the right answer and sees themselves as superior to others – without question or room for conversation – this should serve as a red flag.
I will raise my voice against white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi and all extremist groups every day and all day. I will not shout, though, because often coming at a problem with the same volume or intensity or approach that is the problem will not solve it. In times like these, I turn to the leader that has most influenced my world view, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Hate is rooted in fear, and the only cure for fear-hate is love. Hatred and bitterness never cure the diseases of fear; only love can do that. Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illumines it.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
What words do you turn to in times like these?
I look forward to hearing from you.