When my kids were little, I always told them that they were not allowed to “hate” people. You could hate an inanimate object; a “thing”, but never a person. You might hate what they said or what they did, but you could not hate them. My beliefs have not changed.
Yesterday presented a real challenge to upholding those beliefs, however. About a mile from where I was standing yesterday afternoon, three completely innocent people were shot and killed for one reason. The shooter thought they were Jewish. That’s it. He didn’t know them. He didn’t know their families. He didn’t care. Tragically, he was just that full of hate. Kansas City suffered a tremendous loss yesterday. A young man (HS freshman) an Eagle Scout, with a love for theater and a beautiful singing voice; his whole life ahead of him. His loving grandfather, “a devoted family man”, married 49 years, who moved here to be closer to his grandchildren. A wife and mother, described as a “deeply caring individual”, who was an occupational therapist at the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired. So much pain. Please join me in prayer for these hurting families…
We live in a world of differences that are meant to be CELEBRATED, not stereotyped. Our uniqueness makes us special. As for my husband and I; our extended family of siblings, their spouses, nieces and nephews, provides it’s very own “special blend of uniqueness“… We are Christian; we are Jewish; we are Mormon. We are African-American; we are Caucasian. We are Filipino; we are Panamanian. We are gay; we are straight. We are able-bodied; we have Down Syndrome. We. Are. FAMILY.
In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, a man who understood hate, but instead chose love. And peace. “Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.” I absolutely hate what this shooter did. I hate that he took the life of three beautiful, innocent people. I have zero tolerance for ANYONE who thinks they are superior to anyone else. But to hate him will just perpetuate this evil cycle of hate. I do not want to spend time and energy dwelling on this evil man. Let us, instead, go forward – with the words of Dr. King in our hearts… “Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
So get out there and LOVE . Spread kindness far and wide. You CAN make a difference. We ALL can. But will you? Every loving gesture to someone in need, every kind word to a friend, every act of kindness to a stranger… It. All. Matters.
So what will YOU do to leave your (kindness) mark TODAY…?