Given the events of yesterday, all my words seem trite. I also recall a post I wrote months back, oddly re-shared on Facebook Friday afternoon, calling all of us to make a difference.
We are all called to be unsung heroes.
But, what makes a hero?
Heroes must possess a quality which allows them to stand up for what is right, even when the rest of the world is saying it is wrong. Courage in the face of adversity is a necessary ingredient of heroism.
Yesterday, a town near and dear to my family’s heart descended in turmoil as a domestic terrorist drove his vehicle into a crowd of unsung heroes – demonstrating against hatred.
These individuals were standing up, ensuring their voices of love were heard over the shouts and taunts of others who would seek to hate.
I am busy raising my children, trying to teach them the Golden Rule of treating others as we would like to be treated.
Recently, my son has noticed difference in skin color. It makes me bristle, every time he makes an innocent observation of someone else’s skin color. And, slowly, but surely, he is beginning to identify others by the color shirt they are wearing, or some other feature such as, “the man in the hat.”
Most importantly, we have discussed the importance of seeing people’s hearts, as opposed to their skin color. For we all bleed red, and we all have hearts capable of love.
I remember the day I became the “unpopular girl,” as I stood up to a class bully for a classmate who was being endlessly taunted. I remind my son on the drive to school in the morning that we are supposed to be kind, loving, and share with everyone, and to make others feel better when they are sad or scared. Someday, those reminders will also include, “No matter how different they may seem from us.”
It takes a true hero to recognize the depth of love one’s heart can hold for others, and to bring the love out to be real, tangible, and recognizable.
A true hero will look adversity in the face and have the courage to speak out against bigotry and hatred.
A true hero will acknowledge differences in others, and embrace those differences.
Like it or not, and as uncomfortable as this may be to accept, we all have prejudice within us. True heroes will take time to discern where prejudice within them lies, and root it out. A true hero will tackle that prejudice, and work through it to be able to embrace those different than us – whether it is a difference in race, a difference in creed, a difference in sex, a difference in socioeconomic status, or even a difference in political affiliation.
If we do not study history, we are doomed to repeat it. This includes our personal histories, as well as the ugly truths and history in our country.
We all have a duty to root out evil, and to speak up for those in need – regardless of their stories, and regardless of our personal comfort. Let us shine the light of love, even when difficult, to dispel the ugly darkness of racism.
So, here is what I wore to Mass today – or, what I plan to wear to Mass when the time comes (there’s a story there for another day). Head over to Rosie’s for more thoughts and beautiful bloggers advocating Truth, Life, and Love.