All You Need is Love

There is one important lesson that humanity has learned in the past, but time and time again needs to relearn.

Love wins. Love heals. Love revolutionizes.

Even when others hate you, love is the answer.
Even when others curse you and slander you, love is the answer.
Even when others harm you or your family, love is the answer.
Even when others kill you, love is the answer.

"You say you want a revolution?" the Beatles song asks. "Hell yes!" the enthusiastic protester responds. People want a better world, free from racism, oppression, injustice. But how do we get from here to there? How do we make that better world a reality? The answer is love.

There is a woman named Immaculee Ilibagiza. In her memoir, Left to Tell, she explains how she survived the Rwandan genocide and learned to forgive the people who killed her family. When she spoke at my University years ago, someone told a story about Immaculee wrapping her arm around a man as they posed for a picture. She knew him as the man who killed her brother. If that man was a hateful murderer before, he wasn't anymore.

Amber Guyger made headlines for killing Botham Jean, an innocent black man in his own apartment. It was also revealed that she had previously made racist comments on her social media accounts. Botham Jean's brother Brandt spoke forgiveness and healing into Amber Guyger. If she was a racist before, she certainly isn't anymore. And that is for one reason: she was shown love and mercy.

What would have happened if Brandt had simply discussed how much he missed his brother? It would have been a beautiful sentiment of course, but the world would have missed out on this moment. Guyger would have missed out on this moment. Maybe Guyger would have experienced redemption by another means. One thing is certain however, that redemption does not happen by berating someone into it.

"When you talk about destruction, don't you know that you can count me out."

After President Trump was elected, many people felt justified in indulging in hateful thoughts and comments, up to and including committing acts of violence. There was no end goal in mind. Things didn't get better as a result of people rioting and burglarizing. It only made things worse.

Trump's bigotry and hatred towards specific groups of people is unequivocally wrong. But people's reactive hatred of him and his supporters only makes the situation worse. Hatred makes everything worse. It feeds the demonic energy at work.

"You tell me it's the institution, well, you know, you better free your mind instead"

I don't claim to know any dark secrets to the universe, but one thing that history, religion, and even science has made clear, is that love, and only love, can elicit such a positive transformation in another human being. Martin Luther King, Jr. taught "Darkness cannot drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hatred cannot drive out hatred. Only love can do that." He exemplified this teaching and made a lasting impact on our society. We don't remember every rioter who merely reacted to injustice, but we do remember those who proactively changed the course of history for the better. They were counter-cultural, adamantly refusing to indulge in the cycle of hate, and loved others into redemption.


Popular posts from this blog

Let It Be

The Charism of Raising Babies

St. Francis of Assisi Novena for Freedom from Distractions