Thursday, January 15, 2015

L'amour plus fort que la haine

This phrase, "L'amour plus fort que la haine" was on the cover of one of the first magazine covers I found when I searched for the cartoons of Charlie Hebdo, wondering what could have caused such ire in the hearts and minds of the terrorists who killed 12 in Paris a few short weeks ago. It  translates, roughly, to:

Love is stronger than hate.

I have a t-shirt from the Human Rights Campaign that displays a similar sentiment:

Mere days before these attacks, I had finished penning an invocation -- a plea, a hope for humanity -- as a response to the many recent killings of black Americans at the hands of white American police officers. Outcries of #BlackLivesMatter, #JeSuisCharlie, and #NAACPBomb do little to assuage my pain and heartache at the situations in which we are finding ourselves as humans in 2015.

This year, I am entering my third decade. And it won't be a silent one . . . not that my years leading up to this moment in my life have been all that introverted and quiet, granted. But my passion is only building. I will not release or diminish the dreams I held as a child that this world could be fair, just, and loving! I refuse to 'grow up,' if 'growing up' means giving up, sitting down, or shutting up.

I urge you to join me in continuing to raise awareness for injustices in our world -- but far more importantly, I beg of you to join me in spreading joy, love, and peace in the smallest-seeming places in which we find ourselves each day.

Make time to pet your dog, cat, or bunny while you feed them today -- to truly feel their presence, and be grateful for their places in your homes. Watch your fish in their tank as they swim, and laugh at their funny habits.

Find an opportunity to put down your smart devices and turn off your screens, to truly connect -- viscerally and passionately -- with your family. Call them, if you don't live with them. Just to simply ask how they are, and say you love them. Look them in the eye, if they live with you -- not just as you briefly kiss them hello or goodbye, but an extra, added little while . . . touch their face. Remember what they feel like. Look them in the eyes.

Make a child laugh . . . and laugh yourself!

Do these things every single day, and believe it or not, they will change the world -- yours, and the worlds of those closest to you. And those changes will ripple out further and further. Together, we can and will change this world, because love is stronger than hate.

Here is the Hope for Humanity I wrote because #BlackLivesMatter. According to the New York Times, "One reason the chant ‘Black Lives Matter’ is so important is that it states the obvious but the obvious has not yet been historically realized."

I am holding a hope in my heart . . .
a hope for this human race, in which we all take part.

My heart is hurting with hope . . . 
that Eric Garner, age 43, was not murdered for naught;
that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., age 39, was not assassinated in vain;
that Darrin Hunt, age 22, was not shot dead for nothing;
that Michael Brown, age 18, was not attacked and killed for no reason.

My mind is mourning each of these merciless murders . . . and many more,
while my heart, heedless to these repeated horrors, adheres to a faint 
but palpable hope that there will not be yet another senseless, cruel death
next week, tomorrow, or this very next hour, minute, or second.

I am raising my reasoning and respect for all Americans - and all human beings -
who refrain from answering pleas of "I Can't Breathe!" with chokeholds!

I am pleading with the peace-keepers to please, please pardon 
the pejorative insults persistent youth are hurling at systems of injustice.

I am begging every brother, sister, father, mother, daughter, son, boy, and girl alive
to treasure life - all life - so fiercely . . . to respect and guard and honor
every human being as they would their very own girl or boy, daughter or son,
father or mother, sister, or brother. 

As we listen to every excruciating cry of these, our fellow humans who are dying, 
May we hold this hope in our hearts, that their harrowing, heartrending cries 
will never fall on apathetic hearts, numbed to injustice, or blighted by dispassion.

May our hearts hold up hope, as a beacon to obliterate apathy, injustice, and dispassion.

May our minds maintain the momentum needed to turn this hope into action.

May our human race collectively humanize the de-humanized.

May our journeys collide, and may all our hopes ignite the fires of compassion, 
to heal all the hopeless hearts.