Bad shit happens to good people, not because they are good or because they are bad but because shit happens. I am not being a fatalist or claiming to be a realist but recognize that there are evil forces in the world that create space and time for very bad things to arise.
I am not a believer in a supernatural devil, satan or Lucipher or whatever we call it. I think that ‘evil lurks in the hearts of men’ and when we don’t pour enough goodness on the world, it grows from a pebble to a stone. It can turn our hearts to rock and we become uncaring and then vengeful. The counter to this bad shit is an abundance of good shit.
When faced with negative, rain down positive. When challenged by hate, dish out love. When slapped and beaten, extend a hand of forgiveness. The radical teachings of Jesus are the remedy- not a magic elixir or silver bullet that will solve the crap immediately but when darkness is challenged by the light it retreats a tiny bit. When more and more light shines, we can cause the bad to disappear and as long as we are intentionally bursting forth in joy, caring, goodness evil doesn’t have space.
There is lots of talk about guns, gun control, more guns in light of the most recent shooting in Orlando. Much of the rhetoric is based in fear ( a tactic of the evil). Trump is playing his own fear game by piling hatred on the suspicion and unknown of immigrants, Muslims and anyone who isn’t like his people. We need to resist falling for his trap or lowering our position to be as vengeful and hateful towards him and his as he is espousing against the ‘others’.
We can fight fire with water. We can cool and disperse the hatred with love and kindness and yes there is a likelihood that some will get spat on and slapped or worse for their kindness. If we devolve and slide into fighting fire with fire, the return to humanity will be longer and harder for all of us. It could be generations before ‘unity’ grabs a foothold.
Evil has power, the power we surrender and the power we create. In giving up and hiding we surrender to the fear and will become unnoticed victims eventually. In joining the forces, we add power regardless of the side we choose. An eye for an eye becomes a life for a life and we burn our cities and communities to the ground.
Making an individual difference in our world is the only way to make a collective difference. It takes each of us saying ‘ I will not surrender and I will not join”. I choose peace. I choose love. I choose caring, sharing, kindness, joy, abundance, opportunity ..
I write a lot about easy to say and harder to do and this is no exception. But this can be done in small relentless incremental steps. Today, when I feel angry, I will respond with an act of kindness. Tomorrow when I feel fear, I will demonstrate an act of courage. And the next day and the next. I will invite others to join me in finding a way to love rather than hate, to care rather than despair, to be involved rather than absolved. Just as I am encouraging you now, I will ask each one to join or create a movement of peaceful reconciliation and appreciation. When I hear yes, I will celebrate and when I hear no I will be sad but accept that answer for the moment and reach out to someone else. As others ask the same thing, we can create a movement; one to one. and the ripples of kindness can become a tidal wave of hope and a tsunami of hope. The decision to act isn’t easy and will be challenged but if we choose not to change ourselves, we become part of the bad shit happening to good people system. Be on the lookout for goodness and loudly acknowledge it and be ready to call out evil and show it the power of hope.
Tomorrow will be a better place, a better day, and where the light shines and changes the world, I can’t speculate but know as the Light shines there is an impact somewhere. The Light of each of us is the wings of a butterfly and if millions shine together the shadows will be overwhelmed.