Someone who loves me very much once started going on and on about how she hated a pop star who was so trashy with her drug abuse and sexual escapades. I thought about it and wondered if the pop star had done anything worse than I’ve ever done or had I, loved by the person, done something much worse than the pop star. I wondered what would happen if the person trashing the pop star could just put my face on the pop star’s body – would the pop star still be worthy of so much hate?
I often see hateful and vitriolic posts on Facebook about anyone who voted for Barack Obama or who believes in stricter gun laws – you know – liberals – those horrible, demonic, ignorant liberals. If you need to label what I am (some feel it’s much more important than who I am) then by all means, label me a liberal. And when you post your hate and vitriol please…put my face on it.
Sometimes people piss and moan about people on food stamps; how they get something for nothing. Some people want those people drug tested to make sure they are worthy of food. I think it was the late 70’s when I applied for and received food stamps – and was smoking pot in my spare time – so please when you talk about those people…don’t forget to put my face on it.
It’s a tragedy when someone surrenders an animal – a family pet – to the shelter or decides to give the pet away for all kinds of reasons. I hear those people should be shot or at the very least, dropped off a bridge and drowned. And since I, too, have given away a beloved pet oh please won’t you please just put my face on it!
Whoever it is you hate…for whatever reason you might hate him or her…please…before you open your mouth to spread such unwise and unloving beliefs, put my face on the person who did that harm. And knowing me, if you don’t want to understand why I did or did not do what you hate me for doing or not doing…if you cannot forgive me for making an unwise choice or for acting out in the only way I knew at the time…if you honestly believe that I am a person worthy of hate and vitriol then fine…sit and stew…allow the pain and suffering of hate and vitriol to run its course inside your body…to spew out your mouth…give the gift of your pain out to the rest of the world.
BUT if you put my face on him or her, or upon an act committed by someone, and even a small softness can be found in your heart…a softness that says, “Remember Kate…remember love…remember why you love her…I love her…” then perhaps you can focus on that softness and allow it to spread within you or at the very least, share that small softness with the rest of the world – a token of appreciation to those who love you in spite of your heinous acts – the past mistakes you don’t share with anyone – the ones you can barely forgive yourself for committing – the ones that cause you to lash out at others who got caught doing what you would never do – but perhaps did.
If we are all connected…if God created us all as one or if we are all made of the same stardust…can we hate any particle of the greater whole without hating ourselves?
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.