Because I am Brave and This is War

You may think that’s an awfully odd thing for me to say about myself, or perhaps if you know me you may disagree, but trust me. It’s true.

I’m willing to fight for good. I’m willing to fight for you– even if that means fighting with you.

This hatred being expressed by many in the world today, must be stopped, and the weapon I choose is love. I know, I’m brave. It means going into battle with my heart open instead of closed. It means I’ll walk away defeated in some of the small battles — but I know a secret. Love wins in the end.

Love doesn’t mean that I don’t challenge hate. On the contrary, I will try my hardest to challenge it in word and deed. I will fight until I’m bloodied. I will speak against it, until my voice grows inaudible — and then for whatever I cannot say, I shall live.

While I think it is important to stand up to bullying, negative, hateful behaviors — I do not believe that is enough. No, go out there into the battlefield of life, and love people. Love them hard. Love them when it IS hard. Love them when it sucks. Love them when you get hurt. Love them and don’t let anything change your mind about it.

Remember this is war, and you need to remember what side you are on.

It is far too easy for those who are on the side of what is right and true and good to let “being right” become their belief in being superior. It is too easy for them to let their distain of the opposition’s view become their distain of the opposition. It is too easy for hatred to get a foothold. Then even the side who may have started fighting for what is good and true are converted to fighting for the other side — even without their noticing.

This is a war, and there are two sides. Love and Hate. You cannot fight hate with hate, and remain on the side of love. No, if hate is your weapon, you’re already on the wrong side of things.

Hate that people are getting hurt. Hate that there are people who were raised in a way that they didn’t experience the blessing of learning to love beyond the borders of their own ‘tribe’. Hate that they have been deprived of seeing the beauty in diversity. Grieve that their education failed them. Become impassioned about the cause of their hearts. Hate that life was so unfair for them that they will never have what it is you had growing up that led you to a place of acceptance of others.

But remember — they are suffering from this. Hate’s venom doesn’t only hurt those that these individuals go out and cause problems for. It eats away at the hater too.

After having dealt with bullies in my past, I came to know one who realized there was something different about me, and how I responded to the bullying. His heart was wounded. He was simply behaving in a backed-in-the-corner animal sort of way, to his own fears, insecurities, and hurts.

I have met some, that simply didn’t know that their stance was wrong. But changing one’s perspective on truth is hard. We hold on to our beliefs rather illogically, don’t we? And I mean you too, not just those who are out there causing problems. We all do, and in the face of conflicting info, we are given the choice to accept that we are wrong, or we can defend our stance. I understand this propensity in myself, so I recognize it when I see it in others.

The best way I have of convincing these people? Staying on message in my own life. What I say I believe, I better be living it, if I think others should be changing their beliefs to match mine. So if I’m saying that they have to change their hate-filled, fear fueled beliefs– I best be loving and brave consistently.

So remember folks, this is war. There are two sides. Love and Hate.
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ps. I’d also like to add that sometimes the bullies are mentally unwell. Reason may not work with them, because of their mental health status. In those cases, seeing how mental health awareness can be raised — not just for them, but for others who are suffering, is a worthy cause. Sometimes interventions are needed, if the person doesn’t recognize their own need. 
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