Many times I’ve thought that a source of good exercise would be to go out and dig a hole. After digging said hole, I’ve imagined filling that hole back up. Dig. Sweat. Fill. Repeat. Knowing myself well, I can also imagine a backyard filled with holes that never get filled. And empty holes in the ground can be dangerous; think twisted ankle, lost kitten, stagnant water for mosquito breeding. Holes attract and contain things and lead to their demise if not addressed. I believe our nation is in a hole right now.
Daily tragedies—shootings, sexual harassment, immigration policies or lack thereof, right down to road rage and family cut-offs—have become so commonplace that, as a nation, we appear to be regressing as a people. Our love for other has fallen into a hole.
As I see it, we have adopted a sentiment that others are the problem and thus, the ones I should hate. Many balk at the suggestion that they hate because that is not an acceptable term in their moral code. Let’s simply label the term hate for a moment.
Hate is the heat we feel, the lack of understanding we sense, toward the “A-hole” that pulled out in front of me; the democrat that has an opinion not held by the president; that president who has an opinion not held by Congress; the women who are “only out to destroy men;” those men who are “only out to use women;” the cashier who talks too much; the person who dares to be born with darker skin; or lighter skin; the lesbian, transgender, or uncertain; the heterosexual; the Christian; the Muslim. The list goes on, and yes, we do hate.
Where does change begin? Ditch the generational, hate-informed labels, and choose to love. Only then will the hole begin to be filled. So let’s simply label love. Love is patient, kind, does not envy, doesn’t boast, is not proud, doesn’t dishonor others, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs, does not delight in evil, rejoices in truth, always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres, and never fails (1 Corinthians 13 NIV).
Change begins with me and it starts with the situation and person in front of me. How can I love you? Allow me to step into your shoes for a moment. Let me imagine how your day has played out. I will hold my tongue. I will strive for what I believe, but I will not hate you in doing so.
My fear is that we will read this blog post and self-righteously agree that haters—everyone else—should certainly step up and begin to fill the hole of hate that others have created. But we all carry shovels. We all dig. We all create holes of hate. Now, how about we fill them back up . . . with love.