Skip to main content

We Must Learn to Love All People

I did not know any of the 49 people murdered in the Orlando night club. I would eulogize them one by one if I did. And so I will eulogize all of them.

They were individual humans. They had careers and jobs, families and friends, lovers and partners. They had hobbies and interests; they possessed skills and talents. They went out on a Sunday night to have some drinks, to laugh, and dance, and enjoy life with others.

They were a part of our human family. And so they belonged to each of us as well. And that we too often forget. Our hates we remember. Our prejudices and aversions, our fear of differences, our loathing those not like us—that we keep in focus. But the fact we are all connected in our humanity, that we are all related as people of earth, that, we sadly forget.

The abomination in Orlando was not an ugly accident; it was not a fluke of nature or some terrible mishap. It was a planned and thought out act of horrendous violence, prejudice and rage against—not “that group,” or “those people,” or “gays”—but rather against our human family members. It was against all of us as thinking, caring people.

That well-known line in Shakespeare’s “Julius Caesar” is appropriate here: “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves.”

We can blame this nightmare on despicable politics, on our gruesome gun culture, on irrational homophobia, and all of that no doubt had its influence to some extent. But the cold truth is, those shocking murders came from some distorted place within us as a society. They were the result of lies we believe about others. They happened because we refuse to accept people we have chosen to fear or detest. People we classify, separate, isolate, and keep at a distance, unwilling to see them as a part of each and every one of us.

Wouldn’t it be something if we could get to the place where we stopped giving each other labels—Blacks, Mexicans, LGBT, Jews, Muslims, Christians, Liberals, Conservatives—and just saw one another as interesting human beings, as people related to us in profoundly human ways?

Perhaps that is one way to end the violence we just keep heaping on each other over and over again. Stop labeling one another.

Here’s another: learning to love all people.

In Audrey Niffenegger’s amazing novel, “The Time Traveller’s Wife,” Clare Abshire, out of a life of heartache, mystery, despair, beauty and loss, says, “There is only one page left to write on. I will fill it with words of only one syllable. I love. I have loved. I will love.”

I am angry and I am deeply saddened by this vicious attack on the gay community. But if I and our society could achieve Clare’s level of maturity after these barbarous acts, then we might end our violence against one another.

© 2016 Timothy Moody

Popular posts from this blog

Our National Lack of Self-esteem

There is a brokenness in our society, a pervasive moral collapse, a reckless disregard for community, neighborliness, courtesy, and compassion.
Our government leads by this example. Both parties are incompetent to guide us into a more responsible living, into a serviceable structure of humanity. Our leaders are dominated by greedy oligarchs who don’t just want more, they want everything, even if it costs our society its dignity, its soul, even its future.
What is on display here daily is a wretched lack of self-esteem. The loss now influences all of us. We’re all affected in ways that keep us shamed by our actions.
When we feel powerless, aimless, without any higher goals than the accumulation of things and the momentary thrill, we then mute our intelligence. We live by raw emotions—anger, appetite, urges. We don’t think, we don’t consider, we merely react. We push. We disregard. We threaten. We act out. And we fail.
Self-esteem is a learned process. It builds on genuine successes that ar…

Is the Soul Solid, like Iron?

Mary Oliver has a beautiful little poem in which she asks:

“Is the soul solid, like iron?
or is it tender and breakable, like
the wings of a moth in the beak of the owl?”

It is both.

The soul, we are told by philosophers, theologians, and mystics, is our essence, the permanence of our true self. It is that part of us that lives beyond death. Or so we are taught by religion. Where exactly the soul exists beyond that, has of course, been long debated.

There are times in life when something deep within us is, as Mary Oliver says, solid as iron and we operate out of some sense of aliveness, confidence, and inner strength. It may be fleeting, but there when needed; or it may carry us through long periods of endurance when we build a sturdy self, confident and capable of our abilities and talents.

This is the work of the soul. This is a part of our spiritual development. This is what enables us to believe there are forces in life, loving and generous and mystical, that nurture and compel us tow…

The Light in the Faces of Our Incredible Human Family

National Geographic Journalist Paul Salopek is walking across the world on foot to trace the pathways of the first humans who wandered out of Africa in the Stone Age to claim the earth as theirs. His journey will cover 21,000 miles and is estimated to take 10 years. He is four years into his massive expedition and already he has discovered that humanity is mostly kind and generous, welcoming and caring, hard-working and disciplined.
I watched a brief piece about Salopek’s journey on the PBS News Hour this week. I have included a link below.
What is extraordinary about his adventure is his realization that in spite of all the wars and turmoil across the globe, he has learned that “The world is an incredibly hospitable place.” In following the ancient trade route called “The Silk Road,” Salopek has gotten to know a variety of people young and old. And though he has so far encountered a few dangerous situations where he had his water supply stolen, was once ambushed by raiders, and was sho…