I often ask myself why are people more prone to be negative than positive? Why do we seem to find the bad in people before we search for the good? I consciously try to live my life in the realm of forgiving people, showing kindness, and demonstrating love in a tangible way.
Believe me this is not always easy because there are people that will try your nerves, but in the end, I do believe love can break down walls of hatred, racism, and even evil. Even walls that have been built over generations. Love and kindness are powerful weapons when shared from a genuine and authentic place.
Nelson Mandela said, “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.” My mantra for years has been “healing without hate, it is a choice, it is a lifestyle, pass it on.” I believe how we decide to conduct ourselves is a choice.
Hate has been with us since the beginning of time, but it does not mean we have to accept it or propel it forward. If we want things to get better, it must start with us. We must also plant seeds of love, kindness, and forgiveness in our youth if we expect things to be brighter for future generations.
When I look back over the history of our country, there are examples of hatred, racism, and even evil intentions, but there are also examples of where people gave of themselves, and sometimes even their lives, to demonstrate the power that love can bring to healing not only a family, or community, but also a nation.
We must get back to a time where we care about our neighbor and we care about humanity and not only when there is a crisis. In 1982, a woman by the name of Anne Herbert from Northern California started the phrase, “Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty” as a non-premeditated action to help improve our world. This philosophy has grown and in 1995, Random Acts of Kindness Day was established by a foundation with the same name. We can practice this every day. We do not have to wait for a special designated date.
Spreading love and kindness to overcome hate is something that all of us can practice. It may take a little work and effort, but like many things, once we do it over and over, it can become a habit and a good habit at that.
To help put a spotlight on this issue, the County of Los Angeles has declared November 13-19 as “United Against Hate Week in L.A.” The campaign is designed to help eradicate the dangers of hate, racism, and bigotry.
Hate crimes and bias incidents continue to grow and they pose a danger to the safety and civility of our neighborhoods. Various organizations are planning to participate by providing webinars, community dialogues, art projects, and more to make it not only a county initiative but also show support across Southern California to help end hate.
Find out where you can participate to do your part. If you are not sure where to start, visit LAVSHATE.org. Also, the Black Business Association of Los Angeles will be holding various webinars (bbala.org) on the subject this month and in December.
This campaign is just the beginning. We must all continue this effort on an ongoing basis if we want to see a real difference. Love instead of hate must be a mindset that transcends time.
Healing Without Hate: It’s a choice. It’s a lifestyle. Pass it on.
Visit www.WendyGladney.com and www.forgivingforliving.org to learn more. Wendy is a life strategist, coach, consultant, author, and speaker.