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The World & Baton Rouge

I fear that this won’t be my last post about the sad and scary events taking place in our world today. I learned of the Baton Rouge murders two days ago. I’ve been working on this blog ever since. Lately I’ve been scared to turn on the news or open the computer. Luke is much better at keeping up with world events and it seems like every single day he is relaying horrible news.

I have always believed that the strong minded and strong willed are the game changers in our world. They are the ones who earn a women’s right to vote and slavery’s end. They fight for what is right, for what they believe. In return they are mocked, bullied, imprisoned and even murdered. Their efforts aren’t in vain. Women are allowed to vote. Black Americans have “equal” rights. We could go further back to the origin of our nation and the fight for freedom; to not be persecuted for our beliefs and to govern ourselves. People fought HARD for these things that many of us take for granted and quite frankly, that many people in the world won’t ever experience. Lately I am feeling the need to focus on and cling tight to these freedoms. To embrace the essentials of our humanity, to focus on our similarities rather than our differences.

He believes in Allah. She believes in God.

She is white. He is black. She is Indian. He is Turkish.

We are all human. We all love something and someone. Let’s embrace that.

These murderers, the ones killing Black Americans, Police Officers, Christians and Muslims, they are weak, delusional, jaded and broken in a way that I know nothing about. They want to fight for a cause but they are only hurting their cause. Today I worry that too many of us are quick to kill and slow to “fight;” quick to judge and slow to accept; quick to hate and slow to love. This won’t end well. These murderers aren’t seeing the human in us and they are generalizing large populations of people.

All black people are thugs and criminals.

All police officers hate black people.

All Christians deserve to die, actually all people except extreme radical Muslims deserve to die. Believing in a god who wants you to kill large populations of people, including children??? …broken. Those people are broken.

Over a year ago, 9 parishioners were murdered in a church in Charleston. And do you know that the families of those slain parishioners all forgave the murderer? Now, that’s a real story of strength.

We are all affected. It’s close to home, it’s far away. It’s religious hate, racial hate, political hate . . . even as I type this out, I think how stupid it all is. Really? Hate in the name of god and in the name of (false) pride.

Goodness gracious, what will tomorrow bring?

I’d like to talk about love. About acceptance. About purpose, peace and leaving the judgement to God, but is anyone listening to that? Even as I write this I can recognize that my thinking is very American. I have a cousin who is a missionary in Cyprus and he is much more on the front lines of the serious religious and ethnic problems in our world. The labeling and the hate that springs from your place of birth, your race and your “inherited” religion (in many countries around the world, your religion is simply what you are born into, not what you chose for yourself). It’s a worldwide issue. It’s a human issue.

That said, I have to go to sleep tonight believing in the good in us. That the love is stronger than the hate. That we can overcome. That maybe if we spread the message of love and acceptance whenever we can, we might reach some people, we might affect change on some level. AND I have to remember this when relating to my kids. I will take every opportunity I can to realize my own prejudices in the hope that I won’t pass them on. I will help them when they struggle with their own one day. I will nurture strong minds and strong hearts to the best of my ability.

This video was widely circulated on Facebook. It’s very powerful. If we could all see how easily we are tied and bonded to one another, things might change. We might see each other as neighbors, friends, humans trying to make sense of this complicated world.

 

Go out and spread the message of love and acceptance. Teach it to your kids, share it with your friends, model it to your neighbors, your coworkers, the check-out guy at Harris Teeter and the nurse at your doctor’s office.

Hope…hold tight to it. 

 

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