#iHate Hatred

Hate is a strong word. But I hate hatred. No matter your feelings on any of the tragedies that took place in our country, last week was extremely difficult for us all. And it’s up to us to fix it. I’m not going to claim to be any more inspirational or insightful than anyone who has contributed positive and thoughtful posts over the past 6 days. And I don’t have all of the answers. But what I do have is an idea. We all have at least one social media friend that is different than us. Maybe they worship a different God. Maybe their skin color is different. Maybe they have different political views. Maybe you speak with this individual regularly, and maybe you don’t. Reach out to that person. Ask them to meet you for coffee, lunch, adult beverages, or whatever makes sense for the two of you. Sit down with them and ask them how they feel about the challenges America is facing. Be eager to understand and slow to respond. Approach the situation with an open mind and a desire to learn. Be a great listener. Be engaged in the dialogue. Be logical. Be rationale. Be reasonable. Use common sense. If we don’t have the desire and ability to accept that our personal perspective does not mean someone else is wrong, there will be no growth. Without compassionate communication, there will be no progress. If you say you truly want equality, and you firmly believe in “liberty and justice for all”, an hour of your day is a small sacrifice. I promise I will do mine. Also, when my 17-year-old nephew visits me next week, we will have a lesson on best practices when engaging with law enforcement. Because it’s my duty. My hope is that if he does his part, the officer will do theirs. Things don’t always go as planned, but I want to set him up for an optimal level of success in that encounter. I want him to make it home. He has a loving family and his safety and health are of the upmost importance to us. All truly great movements start with the people. With that, I’m proclaiming the 2nd week in July as “National No Hate Week”. This year will be about spreading the message, so please feel free to share this if you are compelled to do so. Next year will focus on events that promote unity and togetherness. I’m sorry I didn’t make you laugh today. But at some point, I have to try to make you think. And this is that point. Mondays are usually reserved for my hatred. But not this week. This week is reserved for peace, love and healing. Change is inevitable. The kind of change is up to us.

#NationalNoHateWeek

#MyNephewWillNotBeAHastag

#CompassionateCommunication

#AmericaStrong

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