I protest


  I think, growing up, I just believed that everyone lived as I did…in my own remote part of the world. I thought good would always prevail and that we would all love each other. I was raised to believe that we were all supposed to watch out for one another. When I moved out of my comfort zone, however, I learned that the “real world” was full of all of the things that I never fully understood. There were abundant injustices going on all around us. I found so many fingers being pointed in blame that very few people were coming up with viable solutions. I looked in desperation to find my path in all of this. It took me a minute to catch my bearings, but once I did…I began to protest EVERYTHING! No, I didn’t picket or camp out overnight. While those options raise awareness, they do not necessarily bring about change. I began speaking up and writing about the world and its social issues. I spoke up even when no one else seemed to be. I always understood that not everyone would see my point of view…but it did not deter my course. The only pointing that I ever wanted to do was the pointing out of injustices and wrongs that were occurring and re-occurring on a daily basis. It is not about the evil of man but the evil of his actions; since I have always been of the belief that man is inherently good.

  As I looked around me I saw a world filled with anger and void of humanity…or at least our actions gave that impression. I rarely saw people behaving in loving ways just for the sake of being loving; rather I saw people verbally and physically attacking one another just for the sake of the kill.

  The world is filled with people and while we live so far away from one another…we are amazingly similar. We may have cultural differences…but our human nature is very much the same. I found that for most of us, we can see other people’s situations clearly while still viewing ourselves through a thick London fog.

  For instance, we may chastise a parent for speaking harshly to a child while we are waiting in line at Wal-mart; yet we go home and do the same to our own children, within the confinements of our houses. What makes this any different? Is it okay to speak to your child or anyone else for that matter, anyway we choose as long as no one else sees or hears it? Is this a matter of us being too harsh about some one else’s behavior…or us not being harsh enough about our own? Is the shame in this, how people are reacting to us…or is it the fact that it occurred to begin with?

  All of this brings me to the purpose of my writing today…the writing topic of whether or not I have ever protested anything. I think that we all could find a cause or reason to speak out against one thing or another. We only need open our eyes and hearts to see a world full of people reaching out…reaching for understanding…compassion…and concern.

  Growing up I couldn’t imagine that I would ever be one of those people speaking out against anything…however growing up…I was unaware of the true evils of the world. I knew nothing about how people would use any reason to pray upon unsuspecting victims. People will verbally annihilate a person without giving them a second thought. For some reason…we began to view people as objects…numbers…or statistics. We failed to remember that we are talking about our fellow man…our brothers and sisters under God. I have watched people use other’s hardships and difficulties as ammunition. In this war of tongues, the true victor is easy to spot…because they aren’t crying. But at what price was this win? I have witnessed the laughter of evil at the expense of another individual. What would cause another person to rip at another person’s self-esteem like this? Pain… Pain causes us to strike out at people that we love and we will even strike at those which we do not even know. Tearing other people down, can temporarily makes others feel invincible…but it is just a bandage on an open wound. So the cycle continues…and it breeds anger and hate. It spreads faster than you can imagine…until suddenly, before you realize it, you are in the middle of it.

  I protest verbally about many things…and yes there are so many causes that there probably wouldn’t be enough time in my life time to do justice to most. So my protests are on the roots of the problem…otherwise we are tossing a blanket on what is wrong. I had to try and see what element was missing. What was the common denominator that linked all of these atrocities together? One day, the missing link became painfully obvious.

  I want you to try and bear with me on this though, because you might want to roll your eyes and shake your head when I tell you my solution. The determining factor behind every problem that we are faced with is that we do not love. We do not love ourselves and we do not love others. And ironically we will fall to our knees and pray to God for the things that we may think we want or need…yet question it when we do not receive them.

  I can explain my solution, because if it is left at that…the message may seem too basic. You are partly right though, love is basic. Love is the basis of everything we touch, see, and feel. Love is the basis of who we are.

  Love mends bridges; it does not blow them up. Love repairs relationships; with others and with Our Creator. Self love is important because it does not speak to our egos…it appeals to our hearts. Loving ourselves does not mean that we think that we are better than anything else…that is vanity and many people confuse the two. Love of self, includes how we take care of our bodies…which are temples…temples of God. Love of self is the way in which we verbally touch others…through kind and responsible speech. Love of self includes humility, respect, kindness, and gratitude which are exhibited in the way we act and react with others.

  Love is not divine judgment. And when I say that I mean, it is never our place to judge what we think, believe or expect what God Himself will judge. We are not in a position to say what God will or will not forgive. Keep in mind that while we might feel certain that a person’s sins or transgressions are something that God will judge harshly…in your moment of judgment…God is also judging you.

  We must always remember who we are…and our purpose. If we love one another…we are doing the work of our Creator. Loving people is what we were sent here to do. Yes, I know that it is not always easy…but then again if it was easy…we wouldn’t have so many books reminding us to do it. If we think back to childhood…we might remember that the most important lessons were not easy but painful. How many times did you have to be told to not touch the stove before you learned the lesson? Or did you learn a more powerful lesson the day that you touched it while it was hot? The burn was a painful memory, but it was far more effective than we may have realized.

  The painful lesson that we are being taught now is clear…when we do not love one another…chaos prevails. We find that we are in wars, our brothers and sisters struggle with famine and genocide, our Earth’s animals are being killed off, our oceans, rivers, lakes and streams are being polluted. We find justifications for treating people badly; blaming race, religion or various other diversifications. In fact, if we trace back every single horrendous deed done in history…we can see how love and understanding could have made it better.

  You may not know what my personal struggle is like…but you could try and understand. The important thing to remember is that understanding my plight…does not lessen yours. You and your life is just as important as mine is. You do not matter more or less depending on where you live or where you are from.

  I can love you a million miles away…and I can prove it by NOT condemning you. I can love you merely because you exist. I can love you for our similarities, as well as, our differences.

  I can love you…because with love…and God…All things are possible.