“All the powers of an empire, they rise and fall around us, they come and go, but acts of charity… they endure forever. And people who lay down their lives in love and service of humanity, they blaze like the sun for all eternity.
St. Maximillian Kolbe, pray for us.”
We are living in scary times. I often ask myself what I can do to combat the ignorance and misinformation that is being spread and believed by so many, including people I love and respect. What can I do to combat the conflict and discord in the world today?
I’ve come to the conclusion that actions are what need to speak at this time in history. Most of what we say will be misunderstood or twisted to mean something other than what is intended. Actions though… actions are harder to distort into something they are not.
And face it, our actions, OUR actions… those of us average Americans just living our everyday lives trying to raise our families the best we can… our actions really don’t affect a whole heck of a lot of people.
So what we need to do is focus on the people we come in contact with everyday. Start there.
First, our family. Treat our family, our children, our homes with love and respect. Teach our children to respect each other and embrace each other’s differences. Teach them that it’s okay to disagree with someone else, it’s okay to hate the evil things that others do, but they must still love them. Love the person, not the sin.
Then, when we are out and about in our communities, we can smile. We can laugh with the bank teller and tell the person that gets us our coffee that we like their hair that day. Or we can meet the UPS guy at the door and tell him we are grateful for his effort in getting us our packages.
At work we can respect our coworkers. We can show them appreciation and esteem. We can be enthusiastic about our work and be thankful for the opportunity to work and be compensated for that work. We can let our diligent performance of our duties show our gratitude to our employers.
And finally, but really primarily, we can to guard ourselves against distraction and agitation. We cannot be ambassadors of peace when there is constant anxiety in our own souls. Accept that we cannot change the world, but that we can change ourselves and we can work towards greater love and solidarity in our homes and communities.
And when confronted with a spirit of hate, intolerance and bitterness, we can do the opposite. We can show love, understanding and gentleness. We can be another Maximillian Kolbe or a St. Thomas More.
The opposite of hate is not hate. It is love.
Let our actions always speak love and charity and there will be no room for hate in our hearts.