If you haven’t already heard, a gunman by the name of Dylan Roof opened fire inside a church in Charleston, USA killing nine people. You can find the full story about that here. As with most things in life, I have very clear feelings about it. But for some reason this made me want to write a post about it so that many more people can hear what I have to say about it. I want people to hear about it, because I think we all need to love each other a little more.
Love is a simple idea. In its purest form, it is uncomplicated, true and so easy to feel. Today I saw an Instagram of a popular YouTuber’s ninth month old baby. I loved that picture and I realised that I loved that kid. I didn’t personally know her, but I did know that she was adorable and always made me smile. So why shouldn’t I love her? If we all simplified the concept of love, instead of layering it with disconcerting notions that did nothing but dilute the purity of it, we’d all be in a better place.
So, why should we love each other? Because the root of all evil is in hatred. Hatred of patriarchy, hatred of another religion, hatred of a race, hatred of a fellow human being. Now obviously I’m simplifying things here but I’d like to think that truly, if you get the very essence of it, hatred is what propels a person to do such heinous things. This man was reportedly mentally unstable, dark and fond of making racial jokes. When he took his pistol into a place of worship and murdered those people, none among us can possibly understand what went through his mind. But what we do know, is that for reasons that we cannot fathom, he hated the people of that race. Why did he target black people? Again, we cannot know the answer to that. But that isn’t important. The point is, that this man had such a burning hate for these Americans that he could murder them in cold blood.
This post, however isn’t just about gunmen or terrorists. It’s about us, as individuals, learning to love one and other despise all the things that make us different. Because when you open up your heart a little, it’s so easy to find forgiveness, empathy, contentment and a feeling of kinship with a fellow human being. And if you are armed with those feelings, then you would never be able to contemplate imparting violence on another person. Love has many facets : brotherly love, fatherly love, friendly love and love that brings passion. A well rounded person should be able to love oneself and love others. When you are loved, it is the easiest thing to carry it forward.
There is so much unpleasantness that people experience every single day. All of this negative energy that is focused on anyone and everyone for no apparent reason. Im not saying that everybody in the whole world should love each other and live in complete peace and harmony. Because utopia is a long ways away. But if we all tried just the teeniest bit to switch out the negative for the positive, we’ll spare someone the hurt and be better for it. For me, to be kind is always foremost on my mental to-do list. I have a notoriously short temper and sometimes a person will just make me want to spew something rude at them. But to contain these urges is of the utmost importance. Because humans are shockingly, desperately fragile. They might seem like the strongest people ever, and I’m sure they are. But when you are facing insult or hatred everyday or even occasionally, it breaks down your walls. No one can withstand having their soul stepped on, no matter to what degree. Soon even those who never intended to be vengeful will have the hate seeping through their words and actions. It spreads like a virus. And that’s why it’s so, so, so important to love each other.
If you haven’t seen it, there’s a video showing the Charleston shooter being talked to by the family and friends of the victims. And its the most beautiful and poignant moment of this whole terrible moment. Everyone present there gives him their forgiveness and instead of letting their grief contort their words, they offer him prayer and advice on repentance. It brought tears to my eyes. I’ve experienced the knife-sharp pain of loss but always due to sickness or old age. But to have your loved one stripped away from you by an act of pure violence and to have that offender in front of your eyes only to send him a prayer to aid him when he meets the Lord, well, that’s love that is unbelievable, unprecedented and inspirational. Not all of us can have such a capacity for forgiveness and kindness in our hearts. However, as with anything it doesn’t have to be everything or nothing. If you open your hearts a little more, walk a mile in someone’s shoes before speaking about them and just generally being a more loving human being, it will do a world of good for our little planet.
I didn’t know what about this incident provoked me to write this blog post. But I did know that it was an important message to put out there. So friends, let’s all do this together. It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture or one day of only kindness to revert back to our usual selfish ways. Let’s promise to speak only kind words, love everyone a little harder and put out only positive energy. Hope you all are having a lovely and safe day wherever you are. Sending you lots of love and prayers from my little dorm room in India.
Love each other. ❤