In the face of fear, hate, and anger… be love
I wrote the article that follows on 11/11/20, but I did not publish it.
I felt it wasn’t ready – I felt I wasn’t ready. Now, two months later, I see that this is the right time, that this is the moment in which I am called to do something big, something bigger than I believe myself capable of doing. But I am going to do it anyway because if I want others to rise beyond their comfort zones, I must do so myself.
I am afraid of what our country has just shown us. I am afraid of the magnitude of hate I saw on January 6th, of what it represents, of the next thing it will manifest. It’s not as if this hate is new, but in recent years it has been stoked and glorified, justified, and honored. This hate is born of fear – fear of “otherness,” of the unknown, of the misunderstood, and the imagined consequences of NOT hating and NOT acting on that hate.
But nothing good comes of hate, and if humanity is to survive, the fear driving the hate must be replaced with compassion for those we do not know or understand. The great leaders of our time Gandhi, King, the Dalai Lama, Mandela, Mother Teresa showed love in the face of adversity, honor amid pain, integrity, as they withstood the worst hate could bestow upon them. We must find a way to channel this love even as part of us may prefer to rage in anger against the hate and those who champion it.
We must be bigger than the fear and the hate, the anger, and the chaos. We must BE LOVE.
I wasn’t ready to celebrate the new year on January 1st, but I am ready to celebrate it tomorrow, January 11th, 2021. I cannot say why, but I have always felt connected to occurrences of 1’s and 11’s – tomorrow is both. Tomorrow at 1:11 pm CST, I will take 1 minute and 11 seconds to send love out to our world. I will stop. I will close my eyes and pay attention to my breath, in and out, in and out. And I will focus all my attention on feeling love in my heart for the rest of humanity – no matter their color or beliefs, religion or gender, practices or location, or any category or divider – I will simply love.
January 11th is also special to me because it is the birthday of my great aunt Syd, who passed many years ago. She lived with my family when I was growing up, and she was the most loving, kind, and generous person I have ever know. Something about her was wise and yet innocent, pure and simple and good. Tomorrow I will call to my mind and my heart memories of her capacity to love to stimulate my own.