A person, who can ‘become love,’ can make a difference
I would be lying if I said I did not have a prejudice bone in my body.
I shamefully admit there have been times in my life when I recklessly assumed a predisposed opinion of a group of people based upon the way they dressed, their body shape, their mannerisms, their education level, their hygiene, and, yes, their ethnicity and skin color.
On these times I judged them because of their looks or demeanor, it was not among my finer moments, and if I could take them back, I would.
But unfortunately, that is not the way life works; therefore, the only option I have is to learn from my past mistakes and make a concerted effort to not allow myself to be sucked into this ugly abyss of disdain.
A few weeks back, I made mention of a book I was reading, “The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die.”
Like I wrote earlier, the book is a compilation of interviews the author had with what he called “people with a lifetime of experience — elders,” and one of the secrets discovered was the notion to “become love.”
In this chapter entitled, “The Third Secret: Become Love,” one of the author’s Muslim interviewees recalled a childhood memory that had remained with him throughout his life.
“As a young boy, we had Muslim and Hindu friends. But a time came when there was a great deal of violence between the Muslims and Hindus in my village. A Hindu boy had been killed by Muslims, and some Hindus came looking for revenge. They tried to take me, but an elderly Hindu man stood between me and them,” the man recalled, risking his own life by telling these would-be murderers they would have to kill him first.
The interviewee went on to say, “Love is a difficult word to define, but all of my life, this man has defined love for me.”
In reading this, I thought about the two African-American men who have been killed recently.
One was shot because two white men assumed he was up to no good, and the other brutally manhandled and killed by a police officer over a fraudulent $20 bill. These men’s lives were taken due to prejudice and hate.
In both instances there were others involved who could have acted like the elderly man mentioned in the book. They could have chosen to stand in front of hate and “become love,” but they didn’t.
We live in a broken world, and I don’t know if there will ever come a time when we learn to all live together in peace.
However, like the man that was described by the interviewee, one person can make a difference.
I pray that I will be one of those people and will be able to “become love.”
Terri Cowart Frazier is a staff writer for The Vicksburg Post. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.