In Order To Stop The Terrorism In Our Country We Must First Stop It In Our Hearts
I wish I could say that I have never intentionally hurt anyone. But to do so would be a lie. Much to my shame I have sought and exacted revenge on others. However, I can say that since I accepted Christ in 1998 I have never deliberately hurt anyone. When I realize I have it causes me a great deal of pain and remorse.
I have too often come off as aggressive, hostile, arrogant and sometimes just plain mean. Because that is so far removed from my true heart I’m always surprised when people respond to it. A reporter interviewing me once asked why I “do that”, when referring to my harsh tone. I was taken aback by his question because I didn’t realize I was being so tough. I actually thought I was being somewhat nice. Yet, his question continues to echo in the hallways of my mind.
The only answer I have to offer is that I am passionate, to a fault. This has never been truer than in the case of individuals with disabilities. Having two children with disabilities forced me to see people differently. I no longer pass judgment on the chaotic mother I see in public. My special needs children forced me to re-evaluate all I thought I knew. I have seen the pure, unadulterated hell that can consume someone with a disability. It’s the ultimate flesh-eating virus.
Imagine the most frustrating or painful days of your life when it seems nothing goes right. Recall the utter frustration of running around completely out of sorts pursuing the eluding peace that you so desperately need. Consider what it would be like to hear the worst things you think about yourself coming from the judgmental mouth of another. I’ve thought a lot about these things in recent months as my patience has been tested, my motives questioned and my entire thought process dismissed. I muster up the strength to endure it because I know for me it is only a day. For others, it is a life.
The art of having a thick skin is a great deal more painful than you might think. Sometimes I want to just give in to the emotions that haunt me. But I know that my own measure of integrity and moral guidance cannot be abandon simply because the cost to me personally is extensive. Right doesn’t stop being right just because someone I love or respect commits the “sin”. What I must learn is that in all circumstances a step back for reflection is essential. When I fail to do that I become guiltier than those I rage against. I must love people – ALL PEOPLE – first and my ideals second. I’m still learning to do this.
The point to my rambling is that we must all live in a world with people who have vastly different opinions and lifestyles. It’s imperative we realize that our life experiences are not the same as someone else’s but they do shape us all. We’ve got to learn to love and respect people – ALL PEOPLE. We must figure out how to free others from the judgments and condemnations that keep us in bondage. Respecting and loving our fellow man is not an ideal. It is a destination. And until we arrive there we have all failed.
- 65,000 hate crimes against disabled people and rising. This has to stop. (blogs.independent.co.uk)
- Violent bullies attack and abuse the disabled (express.co.uk)
- Leap in disabled hate crimes shows need for Paralympics effect (independent.co.uk)
- Straying From A Vision? Maybe Not. (forbes.com)
- Life becomes harder for Christchurch disabled (stuff.co.nz)