You There Screaming
You speak loudly. But you think we don’t hear you. So you raise your voice to a yell, anger clawing its way out of your mouth. That’s why your throat is so scratchy, your voice so hoarse. You think we don’t understand you and so you keep screaming and screaming, spitting out shrapnel. Surely we’ll listen to you then. You’ll make us understand.
And you’re right, we don’t understand. But you’ll never be able to make us because we’ll never understand hate. Regardless of how loud it is.
It’s not that we don’t hear you. It’s that we choose to listen to the softness of love. Love requires no deafening production. Just a simple, sincere, and tender hum that pulses through humanity in a way no explosion ever can.
See, while you repeatedly scream hatred in explosive words, we continue to sing a lullaby of love. Our song sounds like hands tending to the wounds of strangers and arms wrapped around each other. Verses are written by people opening up their homes and their wallets and their schedules and their hearts and even their very veins—giving their blood. (There is something so holy in that.)
And the chorus is all of us saying “I love you”. That’s it. “I love you.” It’s not complicated, but it’s catchy and, more importantly, it’s heartfelt. There’s nothing more we can say. There’s nothing more we need to say.
I love you to the city. I love you to the people. I love you to our families. I love you to our friends.
“I love you.”
What you don’t realize is we would say I love you to you, too. We would. We would say it sweetly and gently and quietly and you would never have to scream again.
You would never have to scream again.
Know your roots…
The following is a post I shared on my former blog back in December of 2006. I still fervently believe in the thoughts I expressed here because it is incredibly important to know the story of a person, as opposed to simply knowing their label or labels. Approach others with genuine and respectful curiosity rather than blind judgement.
When I think about it, the root of all evil may indeed be hate, but the root of hate is misunderstanding. We’re afraid of what we don’t understand and when we’re afraid we take dumb, mean, and sometimes inexcusable actions to protect ourselves from perceived threats. Over time that fear develops into hate and then hate itself, sadly, flourishes. So what happens is, we begin to hate people, places, and things we don’t even know for no reason.
I think that ultimately all anyone really wants is to be understood. We want to be individuals, but we need the support of others. We need to know that others can relate to our life experiences. Understanding somehow validates us as human beings and tells us that we’re not alone. Furthermore, where there is understanding there is love. And who doesn’t want to be loved?
So here’s the deal… Do not be quick to judge others because you are not perfect. Agree to disagree when you do not share the same point of view as another; agreeing to disagree is a concept that desperately needs to be revisited because we are taking far too many people and things far too seriously. Relax. Finally, be brave. Be brave and open up to the world and people around you. If we are brave and open, we may very well come to realize that there is nothing to be afraid of and therefore nothing to hate. If we are brave and open, we can begin to understand and begin to love.
“Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the LORD has forgiven you.”
To understand any living thing, you must, so to say, creep within and feel the beating of its heart.