Thursday, May 29, 2014

Do Something Good!

"I'm convinced of this: Good done anywhere is good done everywhere. For a change, start by speaking to people rather than walking by them like they're stones that don't matter. As long as you're breathing, it's never too late to do some good." 
-Dr. Maya Angelou 

Wow. It's been a while since I've posted. I've been at a loss for words lately. With the passing of such a strong, beautiful, wise woman, I knew it was time for me to get back to writing. Maya Angelou was always someone I looked up to. She was an undeniably brave activist and a compassionate philanthropist. She made me believe that diversity and peace could coexist. It is heartbreaking that the world continues without her. With her death comes my realization that I have a responsibility to reach out to as many people as possible.

I haven't posted in a while because I have been wrapped up in.. well, CRAP. I think social media has something to do with that. While the internet opens up communication opportunities that were never a possibility before, it also serves to shed light on some of the darkest aspects of humanity. I have been so caught up in reading all of these hateful things that people say to one another on Facebook or random forums, that I have begun to feel like an outsider.

For instance, there is a restaurant nearby in Gilmer, Texas. It is called Big Earl's. At this restaurant, a gay couple had dinner and paid for their meal. After receiving payment the waitress (who was also the owner's daughter) informed the couple that Big Earl's doesn't serve "f*gs." A news story was promptly posted on every local newspaper's website. What was worse than the restaurant owner's pride in his daughter's statements, were the comments on the news stories online. So many of people who are supposed to be my peers posted disgusting, hatred-fueled words about this couple and the gay community in general. Seeing these posts initially made me feel anger. I was angry that there could still be such ignorance running rampant in the world today. But, then my anger dissolved into sadness.

Is this what it means to be human? To destroy all that is different? To hate all that you do not understand? To believe that your way is the only way? 

Well, if that is what it means to be human, then I hope I have evolved. That is not me, and it is shameful that I have to live in a place where people with this mindset are considered my peers.

I want to believe- no, I have to believe- that there is a radiance inside all of us. I have to believe that inside each person is an innate good. I have to believe that the only reason people say and do horrible things is because that goodness has been swallowed up by the pain that destroys their minds.

As Dr. Angelou's quote states, the simple act of just ACKNOWLEDGING people around you can really make a difference. I have to think, maybe that person who left that hateful comment on that forum is just struggling beneath silent agony in their mind or spirit. Maybe that person has given up. Maybe that person feels like the only way to get recognition is to lash out. After all, a negative reaction is still a reaction. It still reminds you that you are alive. But wouldn't it be so simple if people were able to reach their attention quota just by smiles or words from strangers in the street? Wouldn't it be simple if you spoke to someone and it gave them the motivation to keep going? Well, it's possible.

So, what if you are that person who has said horrible, hateful things? Well, it's never too late to begin to improve. Every breath you breathe gives you another chance for a kind word. What better redemption than creating hope for another!!

Plus, what bad could come of doing something nice? What negative thing could be created from your choice to cause the least amount of harm possible?

And this is where I find my mission.

I want to help people, including myself, unlock as much of their inner good as possible. I want each person to reach their full potential of happiness, peace, and hope. I don't want to shudder at the thought of trying to reason with the unreasonable. I want to conquer the hatred in this world and turn it into something beautiful.

You can do it too!!

2 comments:

  1. Hate happens, it is unfortunate but it happens everywhere in all ways. I'm bothered when people teach their kids hate, how from one generation teaches the next to dislike the same things. Growing up my family hated any outsider, anyone and everyone. It was strange to me, because I'm naturally social and have always believed in people.

    I will always trust anyone, even if they failed me in the past. My wife says I can be gullible but it's not that. I trust that people will come around and do what is right, I always will. Giving people the benefit of the doubt and trusting them cane bring out good things.

    I read many of hateful things online and I try to read about of the good things too. There is hope in the world, and it shows. It's there and I look for it, anytime I hear someone I know say that the world is a terrible place and has never been so bad before. I try to kindly remind them that we have always killed and hated the differences in one another.

    But people like to remember the past as something more peaceful and innocent, which might be true for them, but from what I know of growing up in a violent south texas city it wasn't fun or innocent. We knew people were being hurt and murdered for money or drugs.

    Not sure what I was trying to say or what my point was, but I agree with you, there is hate out there and some vile things happen. But my challenge to myself is to love everyone equally, no matter what.

    Rest well Maya

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment! I agree with you. I don't think trusting people is being gullible. I think it is being hopeful. The world could do with a little more hope. So I think you are doing exactly the right thing, as long as you aren't letting people completely take advantage of you. Don't forget to live your own life too! :)

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