“Like it or not, we either add to the darkness of indifference and out-and-out evil which surrounds us or we light a candle to see by.”
~ Madeleine L’Engle
After a while the cacophony of indignation grows to a volume that, in an effort to have our own offence heard, causes us as individuals to become louder and angrier. We invalidate others so that we might feel validated. We surround ourselves with those whose offences align with our own and turn, angry, from those who see things another way.
We speak of tolerance even as we become more intolerant. We see little value in those whose opinions and beliefs differ from our own even as we decry the injustice of it all. We choose not to see that respect only for those who share our offences is no respect at all.
We lose sight of the truth that what we put out into the world reflects our own inner state. We sear our consciences to protect ourselves. We are afraid. We hurt. We lash out like wounded animals ready to gnaw the flesh from any hand that dares reach toward us. We don’t see that we are contributing to the horror we so loudly take offence at.
We allow ourselves to be carried along on the waves of what the loudest crowd is offended by on any given day not realizing that we are, in reality, giving up our ability to think for ourselves. We are choosing to allow our own peace of mind to be chipped away bit by bit.
We smash to bits the mirrors that would have us see the hypocrisy. We hate; we become hateful.
We forget that our earliest lesson was to treat people as we would like to be treated. We forget the value of a kind word, a hand extended.
Hit pause, then rewind.
Let’s choose to walk in grace. Let’s choose to speak to, and about, every single human being with dignity and respect. Every. Single. One. No matter what.
Let’s listen. Let’s agree to disagree. It’s okay. We don’t lose anything of ourselves by granting another the right to their opinions (as if that right was ours to grant in the first place).
Let’s take a breath. Let’s look in the mirror. Let’s do it differently today. Let’s be a light.