Because I don’t want my silence mistaken for indifference. There is no place in this world for hate. And really, it just takes immensely more energy to hate than it does to accept and love. Just try love.
- We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. -Elie Wiesel
And below, some of my favorite Martin Luther King, Jr. quotes. In my mind, he is one of the greatest men of all time. His words are so inspiring, so true, he stood up peacefully for what he believed in. He did this in the face of frank personal danger, and he died continuing to be a steadfast defender of equality. There is no man greater than that.
- Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
- I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.
- The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort or convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
- I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
And perhaps most pertinent and important in the wake of the abhorrent hate in Charlottesville:
- We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love. There is some good in the worst of us and some evil in the best of us. When we discover this, we are less prone to hate our enemies. – MLK, Jr.
- No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite. – Nelson Mandela
Along these lines, I’m trying to find appropriate ways to teach my boys about diversity. As a white parent, I feel this is very important and I want to make sure I’m doing this thoughtfully. I fully recognize the privilege my boys have solely based on their gender and the color of their skin, and I need them to know, understand and be cognizant of this. I want (and am trying) to expose my boys to diversity early on. I want them to have friends of all ages, races, genders and religions. I want them to read books and watch tv shows that have black, asian, hispanic, gay and lesbian characters. Here is a good list from a librarian. This website – Brightly – has some great reading lists as well. I want my boys to see that superman or Santa Claus is (or could be) black just as well as white. I want them to recognize that while others may look different, or worship differently, or speak a different language; that we are all human. And these differences make our world brighter, more interesting and more satisfying. Any recommendations on specific ways, conversations and/or teaching tools to do this would be welcomed.
We are 8 months into our intentions! Are you giving and learning about these great organizations as well?
To reiterate my 2017 resolution: Peace and Love.