A curious way you can stop hate.
Once again, we have experienced untold tragedy in America.
We all were sickened by the horror that unfolded in Orlando on Sunday. Once again, a crazy, armed to the teeth Islamic terrorist killed too many people.
What was more shocking to me were the memes, comments, and posts that came after. Before the bodies were even removed from the building we were blaming. We were hating.
Ironically, much of the “hate” speech I saw was calling others haters. This has to be somebody’s fault. We need a scapegoat to blame. it hurts too much so we desperately want to blame some other group for what happened. I saw Congress, Religions, the President, the presidential candidates, the NRA, immigrants, anti-immigration, Democrats, and Republicans all blamed for what happened.
Now, the truth is, there was a lot of “blame” and name-calling, but not much discussion. No, “can’t we talk about this now.” It was more along the lines of “see what you caused.”
This, friends, is scary. This wack job that did the shooting “talked” for years before he did this. “Talk” is almost always present before someone snaps. I have started to see way too many posts on social media that take us down the same path of hate this shooter did. We used to live in a country where if you didn’t like the politics, you went out and supported candidates that you did like. Not anymore. Instead, we fill social media with memes and platitudes and feel self-righteous about how we have it right and others have it wrong.
News Flash: We are part of the problem.
I visited Abraham Lincoln’s house a few years ago and heard a surprising story from the National Park Service guide. Abraham Lincoln had a long-suffering neighbor who was a democrat. He was against everything President Lincoln was for both in his time in Springfield and in the White House, specifically early on. When President Lincoln was assassinated, guess who stepped up and said he would organize the funeral in Springfield? The democrat neighbor. He had changed his mind after 4 years of horrible bloodshed and a murdered president. We can either recognize that our path will lead to violence and change, or be doomed to learn after much bloodshed that lesson.
We are closer to violence over our beliefs than I have seen in my lifetime. Unfortunately, if you are reading this and thinking, “yeah – you tell those people they are haters” We are part of the problem. We must learn to call out those who we agree with on their hateful words. We must demand better of ourselves and others, or we will tear each other apart.
Martin Luther King said:
The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence you may murder the liar,
but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence you may murder the hater,
but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
One of the things I love about Dr. King is he spent much of his time convincing those who were angry not to riot. In fact, when he was killed he was in Memphis to convince the striking sanitation workers to stop rioting. He was truly a man of peace.
I keep hoping for a new Dr. King, and I realized that maybe God has decided for a lot of us to be the new Dr. King in little ways. It is out of that spirit that I am proposing a way YOU and I can do something small to stop hate and attacking speech.
A curious way you can stop hate is to simply reply “Love You” when anyone posts something you think is hateful.
Now, we may disagree what is “hateful.” That’s OK. This movement is about caring more than it is about figuring what is hateful. These days, anything people disagree on is hateful. Using the “Love You” method, it builds bridges instead building walls.
I propose that every time you encounter anything you perceive to be hateful online, you simply respond with the phrase: “love you” No blaming, no unfriending, just “love you”
This will do 4 things.
- It will cause the writer to reconsider the emotional tone of what they wrote.
- It will give you a response that doesn’t inflame their anger.
- It will begin to motivate people to examine what they are writing a little closer.
- It will make you an encourager! WE NEED MORE ENCOURAGERS!
This is a small thing, but multiplied thousands of times can begin to change our culture. We can either live together or we will die trying to convince others that we are right.
I believe there should be a discussion if at all possible. I wish many of the writers I see posting ugly things were open to discussion. If they are, then have a discussion. If not, just post the “Love you” and pray they will begin to see how negative they have become.
is all it takes to begin loving each other and stopping the hate and ugly speech online.
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