“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” ~Nelson Mandela
Truly, what the world needs now is love. It’s hard to imagine a time when there was so much negative energy coming from all directions. Violence and hate appear all around. Even small gestures of kindness seem less frequent. Fear and distrust are dominant impulses.
I struggle to remind myself that love is so much greater than hate, so much larger than fear. I try to remember that kindness can overwhelm and smother even the darkest of human emotions.
It’s in times like these when we must let love shine, when we must surface that most Divine part of ourselves to push back the darkness, hate and division. Love, given as a free gift of grace, as free and simple and pure as the grace our Creator freely gives each of us, is the only antidote. But we have to dispense it, to let our love light shine.
I recently rediscovered words from Martin Luther King Jr. that spoke to me about this higher, Divine love that we all possess. I selectively borrowed the text below from his famous, “Where do we go from here?” speech that he delivered at the Southern Christian Leadership Conference convention in Atlanta on Aug. 16, 1967:
“One of the great problems of history is that the concepts of love and power have usually been contrasted as opposites, polar opposites, so that love is identified with a resignation of power, and power with a denial of love.
“What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive, and that love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love. “I’m concerned about a better world.
I’m concerned about justice; I’m concerned about brotherhood; I’m concerned about truth. And when one is concerned about that, he can never advocate violence. For through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can’t murder murder. Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can’t establish truth. Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can’t murder hate through violence. Darkness cannot put out darkness; only light can do that.
“I have decided to stick with love, for I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind’s problems. Hate is too great a burden to bear. If you are seeking the highest good, I think you can find it through love.”
Love is the answer, the solution, the only path forward. I pray love finds you this month and beyond, and that the Divine love inside you gives light to your life and guides you to brighten the lives of those around you.
Joel Shuler, Publisher