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love, not anger; love, not hate

March 22, 2016

What is there to say?  On the morning of the attack, so many go about their daily routine.  Cogs in the engine of a larger machine which itself powers more parts of more engines which fit together with some pushing, some shoving, some square parts in round holes.

We don’t speak the same language, all of us, but we do feel the same emotions; we fear, we love, we panic, we hate, we despise, we care, we comment, we stay silent.  We are overwhelmed.

Some of us need to find reasons so strongly we point to the most obvious culprits, without proof, without understanding, but with a fear and desperation to find the catalyst so that we can avoid the same thing happen to us.  So we can stay away from the threat, send those who might to other places so we and our loved ones are safe.

Some of us fear the reaction more than the action. We see the hate for people who do not resemble us.  The easy targets, little realising that this is how those creators of fear, the terrorists, want us to view those who are not us.  We see exiles in our own community, pushed away, segregated by the minority of racists who are so loud, so vicious with their words and actions, segregation becomes a chosen state out of fear.

Fear begets extreme action begets terror; from the racist and from the terrorist, although who can say which is which.

Stronger measures, more checkpoints, but does that create a safer place or a more fearful people? No easy answers, just aching hearts and a desperation that the world is getting smaller but the borders are building higher walls and people are locked into mindsets which become cemented and brittle.  Broken and burned by the anger they feel and perceive.  The hate we are shown again and again and again in our media tells us we are right to fear the ‘other’.  We are right to mistrust, misled into complicity.

Love.  I cannot hate because that is a downward spiral which leads to a nation, a world of anger and depression and repression and oppression.  To binary positions never to meet and compromise, to exist in complementary ways.  To blind faith in oneself above all others.

Love. I cannot blame all those who look a certain way for the actions of such a small group of fanatical extremists.  I will not.  I should not.  I hope not.

Love. It is difficult to love those who hate so strongly, whose aim is to maim and kill and hurt. The target is not just those who are not the same as them, it is also those who are the same as them but who choose to stand up for life and liberty and compromise and co-existence.  They may have commonalities but the heart, the truth of the person is so far removed from the fanaticist the fearmongers have more in common.

Love. It is not weakness. It is strength.  It is hope.  It is the way forward. Love for the survivors, the families of those who are gone, the people affected, no matter where they are from or who they are or seen to be.

Love for people.  Love for the future.  Love is the one thing I cling to, however hard it may be some time. Teach and enact respect, acceptance, care.  Recognise and understand difference, even when we are not shown the same in return.  Especially then.  Love when it is hard, as well as when it is easy.

The alternative is to hate, and that is the pathway the terrorists take.  I will not give them the satisfaction. I will love them too, and pity them for the pain they create and the pain they live in.  At least, I will eventually.  Probably.   I will try.

Because hate is the most damaging of all. My victory will be love. For all. Including you.

Mandela love not hate



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