As 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.)