Michele posted these words on her Facebook page this morning and I felt they were important to share here.
I've been thinking over the past several weeks about hate.
Each time a new attack on humanity is perpetrated, my heart just aches, and a feeling of helplessness looms. How do we combat this kind of hate? When you aren't sure from which corner or from what source violence will suddenly assault your mind, your heart, and for some their bodies, their families and their livelihoods...how do we stop the violence, the hatred and the intolerance that fuels the actions of the few against the many?
This question has been floating in and out of my mind as I've committed myself to consciously working to infuse more kindness into my everyday life. Some of you may think that would be easy, seeing as I am a non-profit professional whose mission is to serve widowed people. But kindness is a choice, a daily choice. I fail, because I am human. I don't always choose the kind words or the kind action, but these acts of hate have reminded me over and over again that hate breeds hate. Kindness, compassion, and love will always triumph as long as we choose not to allow hate or fear to direct our actions, our personal actions.
Last night I loved that President Obama spoke about the audacity of hope. How dare we hope when the world is struggling in so many significant ways? How dare we hope when finding common ground with our fellow citizens sometimes feels impossible? How dare we hope when hateful acts demoralize us and cause us to worry for our safety both at home and abroad?
We dare to hope because hope is the only thing more powerful than fear.
We dare to hope because hope allows us to believe in what can be.
We dare to hope because without hope, love, commitment, dedication and courage cannot do their important work in the world.
As much as I loved the part of his speech that referred to hope, the most powerful passage for me was this: "We must learn to see ourselves in each other."
We MUST learn to see ourselves in each other.
The ability to recognize the humanity in every single person is the only way to create peace in our world. We aren't as different as we imagine...grief taught me that lesson. There is a look in the eye of someone whose loved one has just died. Through their eyes you witness an openness that takes you directly into their soul as they mourn...no matter their ethnicity, their nationality, their political opinions, their religious beliefs, their gender, their sexual orientation grief is a part of the human experience.
We need to be human, together. <3
These words have been brewing for weeks, so please forgive my long post...I just want to honor every single person, family, country who has joined the ranks of those who grieve. We who say the names of our loved ones every day (special thanks to you, Joe Biden), those of us whose lives have been changed by both death and love, and those of us who have struggled to find our way back to living...we want you to know that you are embraced by our community. We see your humanity.
To all who mourn: you are in my heart, today, and every day.
Michele Neff Hernandez