“The most perplexing thing about hate is… it’s something you CHOOSE.” These words were spoken by Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard, who was murdered 14 years ago. Please watch this powerful video.
“It’s not going to stop until we ALL decide, by the millions, that we aren’t going to live in that world anymore.” – Jason Marsden
Millions of us have made that decision. We are not willing to live in a world of hatred, of ignorance, or of fear. Instead, we have made a decision to live and work for a world of justice and love.
Judy Shepard is right. Hate is a choice. So is LOVE. So are the qualities of kindness, understanding, intelligence, and honesty. Every day, every moment, we have the opportunity to make choices about the kind of life we want, and the kind of world we want. We are constantly shaping our reality.
If you live in one of the more progressive European countries,like Netherlands, Belgium, Scandinavia (especially Denmark), and Great Britain)this post may not make sense to you. These countries have largely outgrown the backwards thinking that leads to homophobia. But if you live in a society that is still heavily influenced by fundamentalist reich-wing religion, you have probably seen plenty of tragic violence done in the name of “tradition” or “values”.
Our global society is being born, and there are a great number of individuals who fear change. If you live in the U.S. you can see this breathtaking amount of fear and ignorance on display nearly every day. In this country, every little step forward has to fought for. There is a large segment of the population that is mired in ignorance, superstition, anger, and fear — and they have a very loud megaphone in our media.
But as millions of us support the rights of all people to live openly, fearlessly — we are changing our society into one that values love and justice. When millions of us support the rights of all individuals to marry the one they love, our world gets brighter.
When millions of us speak up against bigotry or cruelty of every sort, our world is transformed.
How to start? You already know what needs to be done. If you know someone who’s in pain, be a friend. Be supportive. Be kind. Be strong when they feel weak. In whatever way is natural to you, take a stand for justice and equality. This is NOT about gay rights alone…lots of people are bullied or attacked for one reason or another. This is about the rights of ALL beings to be respected. It’s about the rights of ALL beings to be allowed to reach their full potential and to live a joyful life.
Sometimes those of us on a “positive” consciousness path hesitate to confront negativity; we don’t want to give it too much energy. (And that’s a justifiable concern – we’ve all witnessed the folly of “fighting” for peace, for example.) Instead of “fighting against” hatred, take action FOR LOVE. BE a force FOR justice. BE a force FOR life. Be kind. And be voice for those who are voiceless, or who feel powerless. You will FEEL the difference as empowering, rather than participating in negativity. It’s a constant learning experience. We are creating a better civilization…not simply “fighting against” negativity. We are creating a world where hatred becomes irrelevant – and then disappears.
One easy way is to hold those people who use the media to espouse hatred or superstitious condemnation, accountable. These politicians and pundits know that every time they demonize gays, or minorities, women (or whomever else they consider to be “other than) … the unhinged among their audience, sadly, often take action. Hate crimes go up. They know it, and they don’t care because they’re trying to “energize the base” or sell books. They are coming from a very small, ego-centered reality, and they are doing genuine harm. Call them out.
Speak up. Take action. Sign a petition, or start one. Help out at a fundraiser. If their inaccurate words are quoted online, correct them with a comment. (Lies are everywhere!)
If the speaker is a politician, put energy into a new candidate and vote bigots out – and email them to let them know their behavior is unacceptable. If the speaker is a pundit, boycott the sponsors, and let them know that bigotry and hate do not deserve a public megaphone any longer.
Bullies need to be called out for what they are, rather than allowed to hide their bigotry draped in the robes of religion or political respectability.
Use social media to connect up with others who insist on a more loving world… and take action TOGETHER with other compassionate people…We’re everywhere.
You can see that hatred and cruelty – whether directed at the LGBT Community, or at women, or at minorities, or at undocumented workers, or at the poor, or at animals, or at environmentalists, teachers, scientists, atheists, the homeless — is all based upon a low level of consciousness and fear of the unknown. So your best tool is to raise consciousness and relieve fear…speak truth to power.
Synergy is powerful. When millions of us combine our energies, transformation happens.
Don’t be silent. Don’t be neutral. Use your energy and your voice. Take the opportunity to express love, acceptance, openness, kindness… and do not be silent when you hear or see someone espousing judgement and cruelty. Speak up for justice and love.
With every action, with every choice, with every boycott, with every vote, we are making the decision that we are not willing to live in a hateful world anymore. Instead, we are determined to live in a world of justice and fairness for ALL — where every living being has value — and our work of creating this new society is just beginning. It’s a lifetime work, and the goals will keep changing as we move forward.
We will no longer keep silent in the face of bigotry and dogmatic brutality. Instead we envision, take action — and celebrate each new piece of a new reality. Positive CHANGE is what its all about.
- Masked men storm gay club in Russia, 3 hurt (cbsnews.com)
- WATCH Texas Gay Couple Told to Leave or Die (advocate.com)
- Ryan’s Gay Rights Record (andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com)
- In Texas, Gay Couple’s Porch Vandalized With “Leave Or Die Fags” (queerty.com)
- Q&A: Tracing Hate Crimes to the Fear of the “Outsider” (ipsnews.net)