Sipping Poison? Make Love Instead!
I don’t know why the cops shot and killed Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge.
I don’t know why the cops shot and killed Philando Castile in Minnesota.
I don’t know why the 11 cops were shot and 4 killed in Dallas.
But I do know one thing: The meaning that I assign in my mind to these events is a choice. Of course my choice, like everyone else’s, will be influenced through the filter of my life experience and perspective of the world. I also know that whatever meaning I assign to these events will not necessarily mean that I am right nor if they are true. I wasn’t there.
I’m not happy about what happened. What can I do about it? Of course I’m worried about the ripple effect. I don’t want this to spark further violence. I don’t want more people hurt. I want everyone to get along, treat each other with respect, to love one another. What can I do?
I can only do one thing: I can refuse to drink the poison of hate. I can refuse to let anyone or anything (including the news) make me angry toward another person or group of people. If I drink one sip of the poison, my natural reaction will be to spew it on someone else. This will increase the chance that they’ll ingest it and spew it on someone else again. This is the nature of the poison of hate and anger.
Over the coming weeks it’s going to be hard to protect yourself from being splashed with it. Every news report, every discussion about it, every mention of it will bombard your senses, wear you down, leach into your psyche, and attempt to seduce you into taking a sip. Why? Because none of us like what is happening and it makes us mad. Mad because we are helpless to do anything about it. It disturbs our sense of justice, of fairness, of our hopes for an enlightened and peaceful society. We don’t like the way it is and we feel an urge to do something about it, but as ordinary individuals it is mostly out of our control. We don’t like being out of control. We want to do something about it. We don’t like feeling this way and we want to change the way we feel. But we don’t know what to do. Maybe we rant, maybe we protest, maybe we just make judgements in an attempt to make ourselves feel better, or justified.
I would suggest that the best thing we can do about it is to be mindful of what we are passing along to others. We are in control of what we put out into the World. This is our only power to affect change.
The one helpful thing we can do is to resist the urge to pass even a micro-drop of poison toward another living being. You might have to bite your tongue, or swallow your opinion, or choke back a knee-jerk emotional reaction and let the thought pass without a whisper. If you have the wherewithal, you can choose to digest the hate, to burn it in the crucible of your heart and convert it back out as love. What the World needs now, is Love sweet Love. Yes just like the song. It’s what the World needs now, it’s what it always needs, it’s what it will always need. It’s what we need.
When it comes to Love, there is no shortage of potential even if the evidence seems to belie it. For each of us has our own pump to produce it that sits atop an unlimited field of supply. It’s only a matter of will and choice as to your level of production. It’s not conditional on what’s happening in the World, or your city, or neighborhood. It’s not conditional on how people are treating you or whether you’re getting the short end of the stick at the moment. It’s not conditional on how much anyone is giving you or has given you over the course of your life. It’s just a personal choice. There’s always a well of it just waiting to be tapped.
As the Beatles said, “and in the end, the Love you take, is equal to, the Love you make”.
There’s no better time to Make Love Not War!
With Love for you and all living beings in the universe,