I don’t usually speak my mind about controversial issues. I don’t like to ruffle feathers. I know now that makes me part of the problem.
I read a post recently that shook me. I told my mom about it. A few days later, I told my husband about it. Apparently, It bothered me more than I realized it did. I can’t stop thinking about it. I can’t wrap my brain around the fact that a person could be so wrapped up in his own feelings and anger that he completely missed the fact that a human being died.
A person died. He lost his life. He stopped breathing and no longer lives among us. And he died because people can’t get along. He died because anger won.
Can we put aside the argument about who was at fault for a moment? Can we not argue about whether or not the police officer used correct protocol or brutality? Can we not argue whether or not the young man was an innocent victim or a criminal resisting arrest? Can we simply look at the fact that there is hatred and anger among us and that is the root of the problem?
But you know, I don’t really believe that. I think underneath the hatred and anger is fear and misunderstanding. We don’t know each other. We are too divided. We set up camps on our separate sides of the proverbial railroad and we keep our distance. Then we make assumptions as to why the other side does what they do and we get angry with them when they don’t do what we would have done. But we don’t know why they do what they do. Do we? We don’t really know. We just assume.
How do we embrace what we don’t know? How do we love what we don’t know? We can’t. How will I know the fear a black mother feels for her black children if I never spend time getting to know a black mother? I won’t. How will a black man ever understand the pressures a white man feels if he never spends time with a white man? He won’t. It isn’t just about white people understanding black people. It’s about all people understanding each other. It’s about mutual understanding and respect.
We have so much we can learn from one another. There is so much rich and beautiful culture we are missing out on because we are too ignorant and stubborn to open our eyes and see what’s right in front of us. I say ‘we’ because I’m just as guilty as anyone. I’ve been living in my own white bubble for too long. It’s time to step out and start adding more color to my life.
I’m a counselor. I work with people who have some tough issues in their lives. I work with people who are probably hard to get along with outside of my office. But here’s the thing, I know their stories. I know what they struggle with. I don’t see the tough guy exterior they portray. I don’t see the anger they put forth. I see the scared little boy that’s inside. I see the little girl that has been hiding for years and protects herself by pushing everyone away. I see the real person, so I can love the real person. Do you see my point? When you take the time to get past the exterior, you generally find out that the anger is just a cover for some kind of hurt or fear. When you take the time to get to know someone, you break down those walls. Anger loses. Love wins.
Love. That’s what it’s all about. That’s the bottom line. I know we don’t all subscribe to this way of life, but for me, as a Christian, love is my end game. Jesus commanded us to love. If we are so focused on who was right and who was wrong that we forget to grieve the loss of a precious life, that is an absence of love. Anger won. Love lost.
Our problems are bigger than racism, I believe that. But right now, racism is what we are facing. It’s a big issue. All I need to know is that God loves all people equally. Black, brown, white. Male, female. Rich, poor. Educated, ignorant. CEO, janitor. Criminal, rule-follower. He loves us all the same and He wants us to love one another. How absurd for anyone to think that the color of skin dictates worth! That doesn’t even make sense. That makes as much sense as saying that blondes are superior to brunettes. White over brown. No one would buy that argument over hair color, so why does anyone buy that argument over skin color? Senseless.
It’s very simple. If love wins, anger loses. If we know each other, we don’t have to fear each other. Without fear, we don’t have to put up shields of hate and anger.