When they go low, I will go high

when-they-goAs an INFJ, it is incredibly easy for me to feel discouraged and downtrodden when I feel like the fight for humanity is losing. Equally so, it is that very discouragement driving me forward with a passion to keep fighting for change and encouraging people (myself included) to be better and to do more.

I won’t say we are at a pivotal point in history because there will always be moments in which the entire direction of humanity changes. But we are at a point where the outcome is based completely on what we do about it.

There is plenty to be outraged about, to draw our attention, and to make us hurt right now. There are plenty who are hurting for valid reason.

But now is the time when we take that hurt, we take that outrage, and we fuel it into trying to make the world a better place. The kind of place we desire it to be.

“When they go low, we go high.” Like her or not, Michelle Obama is dead-on.

When we give the people who are spewing hate ongoing attention, when we justify what they are doing by screaming vitriol back at them, we are merely adding more fuel to the proverbial fire.

These people are deplorable, but we have an opportunity to make that not matter.

Today, I’m making a choice–to not give them the time of day anymore. To put my energy into lifting up the hurt and the broken. I honestly don’t know where to start. But I’ll figure it out. Because I refuse to allow my life to be consumed and my heart to be melted by this.

Today, I promise to do better.

“When they go low, we go high.”

As followers of Christ, we are called to love our enemies. I often hear this tossed around like it is an easy thing to accomplish, but truth be told, it’s not. Enemies is probably a harsher word than I would use for most, but the concept definitely applies to those who we consider to be standing against what we are fighting for. It’s easy to allow ourselves to be fueled by anger and hatred towards those people. To feel justified in glowering at them.

But it takes even more strength to love them. Jesus was the greatest example of this.

Dying on the cross, he begs God to forgive those who persecute them. “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) Even as they became the cause of his death, his love for them was stronger.

This week, I have placed a new rule on myself: when I feel anger, hurt, despair, or any negative emotions towards someone, I stop, and pray, and ask God to give me compassion towards them.

I do this because the only way we can hope for change is by being able to address those lacking understanding in love and compassion.

Do they deserve this? Not necessarily. Some certainly have no cause for deserving any kind of sympathy, love, or compassion. But much like oxygen makes a fire thrive, hate makes hate spread further.

Although there are times when a stern, blunt word is necessary, there are also times when gentleness provides a stronger argument.

So today, I pledge to do better. I pledge to be better.

I’ve never been shy about my desire to change the world. I refuse to let what is happening now derail that dream.

I will fight for what is right, but I will not do it by verbally dragging those who believe differently through the mud. My hope is to inspire change, to challenge people to take a deep, close look at what they believe and why they believe it.

That being said, while I aim to love you more, I will not stand idly by and accept cruelty.

I welcome open discussion and even debate. But I won’t allow people to belittle myself or others through their beliefs.

We don’t all have to believe the same thing. We don’t have to believe the same way, either. But if we can work together, despite all the anger and hatred swelling around us, maybe, piece by piece, we can make this world a better place.

And if you’re hurt, heartbroken, and unsure of moving forward because of this election, find things to lift you up. Here are some great posts I recommend:

To Everyone Who Just Had Their Heart Broken For the First Time – Comic Wisdom
20 Post Election Self-Care Tips – Libero Magazine
19 Totally Real Conversations Obama And Biden Have Had Since The Election – Buzzfeed (Because laughter really is the best medicine.)

12 thoughts on “When they go low, I will go high

  1. Thank you Tabs. You really do embody the beautiful, loving spirit Jesus encouraged. I feel like I can always count on you to do the right thing and to stand up for other people, in the most loving way. People like you are few and far between–don’t underestimate your power!! <3

    1. <3 Thanks, Samantha. Your comments always make me tear up. I hope your right about my power, because there is a LOT of work to be done. <3

  2. Hate never works, as we have seen often throughout history. This is why Christians are called to be peacemakers and to love their enemies. We have to treat each person we meet with compassion. I also aim to try harder.

    1. I think one of the things I have struggled with most is how much of that hate has come from the ‘Christian’ community. I’ve experienced some of the worst hate from people who call themselves followers of Christ, which created the biggest challenge for me to respond in compassion and without harsh judgement.

      Regardless of the challenge, I am deciding to choose love. I think if more of us were to try, as we are, we would see an all new kind of Christianity (well, new for this decade) emerge 🙂

    1. Thanks, Betty! I’d be worried if anyone who follows Christ declared they did not need reminders for anything! We never stop growing, which means there is *always* room for improvement 🙂

  3. “This week, I have placed a new rule on myself: when I feel anger, hurt, despair, or any negative emotions towards someone, I stop, and pray, and ask God to give me compassion towards them.

    “I do this because the only way we can hope for change is by being able to address those lacking understanding in love and compassion.”

    Truly this is the response that honors Jesus. Thank you for the reminder 🙂

  4. Such constructive words here Pia, so encouraging in the midst of such hate..I love this “When they go low, we go high.”..I love your fight for mercy and justice and not backing down because of those who cannot find ways to love their enemy doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be the lights on the hill..we are called to do so, and you inspire me with your words. A friend and I are meeting on Tuesday to review all they ways Jesus confronted the enemy, and the ways he said to love them, too..but I reflect on how he confronted the Pharisees with truth of about their empty religion, and how they were vipers and snakes. I struggle with this balance between loving the enemy and calling them out. We are also studying Martin Luther King’s activism..I want to understand how to deal with those who I disagree with..those harming others..anyway thanks for your wonderful post! And for visiting my blog and for your comment..

    1. Thanks very much for your comment Kathy!

      It’s definitely a difficult balance to achieve, particularly in instances where calling them out ultimately doesn’t affect much change. I’m someone who has a massive heart for social justice issues, and it makes it very difficult when I talk to people who literally doesn’t recognize them. I hope one day I’ll be able to find a balance in how to call them out while still being loving. Best of wishes in you finding that path as well!

  5. They must use their time in the minority to slow down and obstruct Trump, to turn the American people against the Republican Party, and to devise a message of social democracy that appeals not just to their coalition — whose vulnerable members must be defended vigorously rather than discarded in a hasty and ill-conceived post-mortem that blames “identity politics” — but also to the marginalized rural voters who have turned against the only organized force in American politics that actually cares about them.

  6. There s been a fair amount of discussion about the strength of the Democrats’ roster of national figures, each of whom will make compelling surrogates for Hillary Clinton in the fall.

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