Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Love Will Win :: Pass It On

by Dotti

Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.
                                                                    ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

FOL contributor Leigh Love shared this eloquent Martin Luther King, Jr. quote a few days ago on Instagram and Facebook. It spoke to many of us as we read it and I wanted to share it today to open my post.

I’d intended to write about “Signs” but my heart kept coming back to this quote, and others which I’ll share. Since our unofficial guideline here at FOL is “write from your heart”, I decided instead to get serious today.

A couple of months ago, Linda broached on the topic of Breaking News and how disheartening it is, day after day after day to hear and read the daily news. In the time since she wrote that post, the news, it seems has just gotten worse. What is one individual to do in the face of such dismal and brutal news, day after day after day?

Yes, it’s a good idea to limit your exposure to these news stories just to keep your own sanity and to keep from giving up on everything we hold dear. But let’s be honest: that’s not enough. We can’t run around with our heads in the sand.

I know that each of us wants to do something positive, something constructive. Seeking and sharing beauty in the everyday is a good way to begin but today I’m going to suggest we take it further.

Some of you, I know, follow Karen Walrond and her blog Chookooloonks. She has written about senseless violence on several occasions but perhaps her most important post was written a few days ago. I encourage you to read the whole post but in this post she says,

Hate does beget hate, but love also begets love.  And I don't have to work change the world, or even the country -- just my world.  And I can begin by "loving my neighbour as myself."  The trick, of course, is remembering my "neighbour" is everyone who crosses my path.

Oh, right.  My neighbour is everyone.

So that, my friends, is the good news. We may not be able to change to whole world but if we will each try to “brighten the corner where we are” (remember that chorus from Sunday School?), before long the love will spread. If we spread the good feeling of love to everybody we meet each day then some of that love will be passed on to others, who will in turn pass it on to still more people. Love will grow. Love will win.

Oh, I know. It sounds Pollyannish. But, friends, what choice do we have? Are we going to roll over and let this horrible hatred consume us? Our country? Our world? Or are we going to try to spread love wherever we are, in our own little corner of the world? This includes doing our best to spread love to those we find unlovable, not an easy task. But is it worth it? I believe it is.

On the night that Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, Robert F. Kennedy arrived in Indianapolis, Indiana, to campaign for the Presidential nomination. Riots had exploded in more than 100 cities in the United States. His aides urged him to cancel his appearance because of all the violence that had erupted across the country in response to this heinous murder. But Senator Kennedy insisted on speaking and some consider it his most important speech. In his uniquely eloquent way, he got to the heart of the matter and there were no riots in Indianapolis that night.  Again, I urge you to read the whole speech, but here is the part I particularly want to leave with you today [emphasis mine]:

We can do well in this country. We will have difficult times. We've had difficult times in the past, but we -- and we will have difficult times in the future. It is not the end of violence; it is not the end of lawlessness; and it's not the end of disorder.

But the vast majority of white people and the vast majority of black people in this country want to live together, want to improve the quality of our life, and want justice for all human beings that abide in our land.

And let's dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.


AFishGirl said...

Amen, dear Dotti. I'm gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine.... It's a good sign if you have me singing Sunday school hymns at this hour in the morning. Fishboy will think I'm off my rocker but that's nothing new in this house. Breathing in love. And breathing out love. Onward.

heyjudephotography said...

Dotti, this summer, so far, instead of feeling relaxed and carefree like we're "supposed" to feel in the summer, I've had this uncomfortable uneasiness about me. I do know that all that is going on in this country, and in this world, is contributing some to this feeling. I'm glad you talked about this today. Even though I am not a regular reader of Karen's blog, I did happen to read it the other day when she spoke of this too, and I was so glad that was the day that I clicked on her link! It's such an important thing, this idea of spreading love in our own little corners of the world. At first glance it doesn't seem like much, but in my mind's eye I can envision love spreading from corner to corner, state to state, and onward. This thought alone makes me smile, and lessens that uneasy feeling just a bit.

terriporter said...

Such a thought-provoking post, Dotti! It's so easy to throw up our hands because there is nothing we can do to stop the craziness but your thoughts here, as well as Karen's and even Kennedy's, tell us otherwise. We CAN do something and if everybody did just the small thing of creating love around them, that would go so far in eliminating the hate and violence. I hope everyone who reads this post today will take it to heart and, as you said, pass it on.

Cathy H. said...

Thank you, Dotti, for these encouraging words. They are so true, we can spread love, kindness and even a simple smile to those who are around us, whether it be our next-door-neighbor or the person checking us out at the grocery store. It seems such a small thing to do, but it can grow into a rather large thing.

Carol said...

Agree agree agree agree! I remember Robert Kennedys speech like it was yesterday. I was thinking this just yesterday. I read a post on FB in which I agreed with the idea but not the language. Basically , this person was saying " if u believe this or that -you're stupid and uneducated."
That is not the way to start a dialogue or to further peace! Please can't we treat the people around us with respect -in our speech , in our deeds, in our manner? Everyone deserves that. Tolerance, respect -that's love. Yes -let's spread it!

kelly said...

add my amen to this post and your encouraging words, dotti. love is the only answer. xoxo

Anonymous said...

Oh, Dottie...this gave me goosebumps and a few tears! It can start with one single touch, look, hug or a smile to spread the Loving Touch of A Loving God To A Watching World... Thanks for sharing such a heartfelt post at this time of need for our hurting world!

kimmanleyort said...

Beautiful thoughts and writing, Dotti. I've read very little online over the past few days, but I read this. Thank you.

Chookooloonks said...

Love this, Dotti. Thanks so much for writing this, for sharing it with me, and for your kind shoutout. Love illuminates lie, indeed.


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