Answer acts of hate with acts of love
To the editor:
The only solution I can imagine to this rampant hate lies within each heart and the choices we make each hour and each day. If we allow mean and hateful people to invite us to think, speak, act in mean and hateful ways, they have won.
To counter hate and violence with hate and violence is to increase the energy and power of hate and violence in the world.
We must notice a child who is alone and afraid. We must notice a family who is hungry and cold.
We must encourage adults who can't find work, or who must work two or three jobs to pay rent and keep food in the house. We must find a way to care for and educate and teach compassion to each child, especially the children of the poor.
To meet hate with compassion, to meet violence with peace (Lord, knows I can't say love — I've tried but my heart is too small) to even try to commit to compassion and peace is so hard — and yet if we don't try, if each of us with a mind and heart don't try, who will?
I am proud of those who gather to show love and solidarity with the victimized — and it seems that each generation has its own group that is hated and victimized. We are all called to notice the angry word and show compassion for the angry person as well as for the victim of the day.
I know families where there is more anger than love, where shame is heaped up and compassion is a foreign word.
I also know that one act of kindness, or the attention of one kind teacher or bus driver or neighbor or friend, allow some children to escape their hate-filled world, while others sink into despair.
The task is daunting, but if every person who claims to be a Christian or Buddhist or Muslim or Jew would reach out with kindness and compassion to touch one life, teach one person to read, or sew, or garden, or fix a bike, if every person who claims to be religious or spiritual would add a little smile, a little joy, a little friendship to the world, the world might have a chance.
None of us can afford to add a word of hate or disrespect to this already hate-filled world, even if it is early and we haven't had our coffee.
Rev. Carol A. Killian, Pittsfield