As I began to gather my thoughts and feelings about the topic of this piece, my inclination was to focus on family. Particularly our children, who we love with all our heart. But there are times we must tolerate their actions, remain patient, and count to ten times ten in our head before responding or reacting.
However, the subject of loving or tolerating the behavior of our children was quietly pushed aside, when I learned of the murders at the AME Church in South Carolina. My heart ached as I listen to people speaking on the news, and I wondered what good if any, could come from this horrific crime.
Could it be that people are finally beginning to understand, perhaps dare I say, begin in the tiniest way to see we really are all one race? That deciding ones character based on his/her skin color is as ridiculous as it sounds? Effigies of the past need to stay quietly in the past – we must never forget them, but we do not have to have them stare us in the face every day we walk this earth. We need to move forward and be mindful of unintentional wounds given, that scar others in ways we cannot imagine. To take responsibility for words spoken, and actions taken. To understand the ‘why’ before the ‘want’. Why are people upset about the Confederate flag? What are the reasons behind their opinions? How can we be nonjudgmental to all parties? Is that even possible?
Yes, yes I do believe it is possible. IF you combine love and tolerance, and accept the good in people, while respecting their thoughts, opinions and flaws of being human. Even if you do not necessarily agree with them. The definition of tolerance is, “The ability or willingness to tolerate something in particular the existence of opinions or behavior that one does not necessarily agree with.” Thus first, we must be willing to do something (conversation), we must agree that it is the right thing to do, then do it (action).
The definition of love is, “An intense feeling of deep affection.” We all know that you can define love and write down what the dictionary explains it as. Yet we also know it is so much more than six words describing it. It has layers and layers of hopes and dreams, emotions, scars, pains and pleasures.
When combined, love and tolerance can be a powerful thing. It can open doors you didn’t even know were locked. It can open minds to think outside what they have always been comfortable thinking. It can show a 360 degree landscape that fills your mind, body and soul with breathtaking beauty and wonder. Think of all the possibilities if we just dare to believe this can happen!
What I find deeply sorrowful, is it seems to take terrible tragedies to bring people together. To forget the blame, and react in kindness to what a person may need. Why is that? Perhaps it is because it is the highest emotional charged experience. You suffer, you’re in severe pain, your heart is broken, and your soul weeps. Instead of someone walking away from your sorrow, they walk towards you, arms outstretched. Their shoulders and back strengthen to carry your weight. They can think clearly and react with haste to do what needs to be done. It is the right thing to do. Taking place in this world so full of intolerance, hate and fear. At the time when you wouldn’t be surprised by things blowing up and drifting away on the wind – we come together. In our communities, in our families and especially within ourselves. Unconditional love and unsparing tolerance.
Breathe Deep, Think Peace