Just the other day, someone called me a coward – not a very positive word.
This happened right after I reached out to offer some ideas and feedback to this person. We had chatted a little bit before and interacted, so it wasn’t a cold, out-of-the-blue message to them.
I opened up my message to this person with “This is unsolicited feedback, but my intention is to serve and help you as I think you really have some great things to offer your clients.”
Within a matter of five minutes, this person had told me that I was a coward and that I needed to “step up and lead.”
I again told them I didn’t want to upset them or debate, just that I had an idea that I wanted to share. My intent for sharing this was to serve and help them.
As they continued to berate me with their ideas and name calling, I decided to block them and move on.
I don’t tolerate hate in my spaces and in my life. It felt best to move on as the love I offered were being misjudge at best.
I’m not offended at all by being called a coward, so don’t worry about defending me, I’m good.
However, being called a coward was something that I want to address. In our society, positive people are making polarizing statements in person and online without fully understanding how the mind and body works.
They also don’t yet have the required empathy to make our world a better place.
My mission in life is to lessen the suffering of my fellow humans. So, that is why I invest a lot of time and energy in kindness and love.
I am far from perfect at this, yet it’s something I commit to work hard at all the time. I’ll make mistakes, but when I do, I will apologize and aim to improve the next chance I get.
You can be loving in all of life’s situations, like when you have to fire someone, or disagree with someone, or end a relationship with someone.
In all those situations, you can choose kindness and love. It is ALWAYS on the table, even in violence, which I will get to talking about later on.
Because it was relevant to the topic, I’m going to share part of what this person posted.
They said, “[insert politician’s name] is killing Americans!”
Not only is that not factually true, it’s sad because that post was actually causing real harm to this person’s followers and friends.
Live a Positive Life
This is where we’re going to get into the science of love versus hate. Because this is important if you want to serve and love your audience.
It’s important if you want to live a healthy life yourself.
It’s very important if you want your kids, family, friends and the world around you to get better and better overtime.
In order to frame this up, you’ll need to understand the basics (that you’ll recognize the moment I say them) about being healthy and positive.
If you think back to the last really good nights rest you had or that last glorious nap you took (hopefully even today!). Then you may remember that relaxed feeling that overcame you before you fell asleep.
You probably woke up and felt rested, relaxed, and refreshed.
This happens because when you put your body into rest and relaxation mode. It is the only time your body can rebuild the new cells that it needs to keep your body healthy. When we get deep sleep, or even just deep state relaxation (like when you meditate or pray for an extended amount of time). This is when your body does its healing work and maintenance work.
So, if that’s the time we heal and grow and regrow, then what is the opposite state?
The opposite state is one of negative stress, fear, and overwhelm.
These were the conditions that have been proven over and over. These can cause heart attacks, cancer, and all the other health issues in the world.
Stress can be healthy if it’s for a short, intentional amount of time. It must focus on positive stress.
Share Great Lessons
Tomorrow morning when I start working, I will have positive stress that’s focused on doing good work for my team and clients. Yes, it’s tiring and intense, but it’s not negative stress.
We also experience positive stress when we work out our bodies for a period of time.
So, there is positive stress, but extended negative stress is the opposite of your body’s relaxation and rebuilding mode.
Hate comes from fear.
This is true in history and you will find the times that horrible atrocities were committed against a group of people. It was because those who hated that group of people feared them.
I remember growing up in the 90s and hearing the horrible lies about the LGTBQ+ community. Lies like “if you touch a gay person you’ll get aids.”
This hate speech came from the fear of dying.
Instead of informing themselves scientifically and accurately, people chose hate (based on fear). They did some horrible damage to people who did not deserve that kind of treatment.
If we look at the genocides that occur right now and have occurred, it comes from this kind of mindset:
“I hate those people.”
And if you really sit down and talk to people with this mindset (which I have), it comes from this root belief:
“If they keep growing their population, they are going to take over the world and kill me off.”
And that, my friend, is just fear plain and simple.
Learn From History
I’ve heard people use this line of thinking for so many different races and groups of people. This was Hitler’s basic belief about the Jews. It is the same belief that you can read about now and in the past when people of color were enslaved.
It’s sickening to me that these genocides occurred.
It’s terrible that right now, as I write this, there are whole groups of people getting killed.
This was the seed of fear that was manifested in hate every day.
This person that called me a coward is a good person at heart, and I love them as a fellow human.
I’m just sad that they don’t see that they are causing life-ending hate and fear in themselves and in those who are around them.
You see, when used correctly, fear is a gift from the Universe.
I want to feel fear if I meet a wild bear in the woods who wants to eat me.
I should feel fear and protect myself.
If I were walking down a street with my partner and someone came out to attack us, then I should feel fear.
But even in that moment, I should exercise love.
Use Violence with Love
As I’ve practiced Kenpo karate for many years now, I know that many martial arts practices have this same philosophy.
My first teachers shared this saying with me:
“The best thing to do is avoid a fight, but if you have to fight, strike first and disarm your opponent without causing long-term harm. If you have to harm them for the long-term, maim them before you aim to kill them. And if all else fails, kill them quickly and as painlessly as possible.”
While those are some dark words in some senses, the point of them is that you can exercise love even in the most trying of times.
If someone is trying to harm you or your loved ones, you should act with appropriate measures. Do what you can do with love.
The only time violence is appropriate is when it is related to the safety and well-being of your physical body and those you love.
Other than that, violence leads nowhere.
If I can reduce you to a derogatory name or make you less than human in my mind, then it gives me an excuse to treat you like something that has no value.
This tactic has been used for tens of thousands of years.
It’s wrong and it’s unproductive on top of that.
Hate Affects Your Health
If you nurture hate, you are allowing your mind to focus on fear.
And if you focus your energy around fear, you are limiting or eliminating the ability for your body to come into a fully rested and relax.
A permanent or semi-permanent state of fear will cause all sorts of physical and mental issues. It will lead to a life of suffering and usually an early death.
You cannot achieve a long and healthy life if you choose negative stress (fear, hate and paranoia) over love and gratitude. Be always positive!
The Positive Change
In order to eliminate hate and fear from your life, you will have to change.
These examples may be opportunities to change your own behavior and mindset:
If you see someone post something negative and around fear and hate, you can either engage with it and let it rest in your mind (which triggers some level of stress). However you can also hide the post or unfollow them. Leave your feed clear for more positive things.
When someone tries to poke at you and call you names, you can either react and engage in a negative conversation. You can also reply with kindness and give them an opportunity to calm down and become kind.
You can either let someone continue to behave badly and incite fear and hate, or you can ask them to stop that behavior around you.
And worst case, if someone is unwilling to change, you can remove them from your life.
It sounds counter intuitive to say that removing someone from your life is kind and makes love win. I want to explain how that works:
If you allow negative people to remain in your life and not change their behavior around you, you are endorsing the behavior and telling them it’s okay.
This then rubs off on you and you will be naturally more negative and hate or fear based at some level.
If you remove that person from your life, your positive power and ability to spread love increases.
This removal also sends a clear message to the other person who was choosing bad behavior for that time. They will
understand that their behavior is a detractor, a negative suck on the world around them, as it removes people from their life.
Make a Great Impact
Wise humans around you will take your loving suggestions to improve their communication and mindset. That’s how they will grow with you. I see this happening frequently with people that take the idea of love to heart.
I’m always willing to risk being called a coward. Sometime it would make the other person takes it to heart and changes. This only happens when I approach the conversation with love, kindness and humility. That is the key (as I’ve done it completely wrong before too!).
Unwise humans will probably react in a less mature state and make fun of you or quit interacting with you.
While this is sad, it’s for the best.
If we bring this back to an example of child development, we can see how this simple principle applies.
Adults should guide childhood development, not control it.
So, if you see a group of children playing and the parents are watching and guiding the situation, this is the ideal scenario when someone misbehaves:
If it is a small disagreement and one child steals a toy from another, the parents should observe and let the kids work it out.
What naturally happens is that the child who act out, ends up relatively isolated because no kid wants to play with a mean kid.
This forces the child to modify their behavior to fit more kind and peaceful norms. The adults in the situation should create an environment that sets the norm of peace and kindness.
Yes, there are times when little Sam or Sally didn’t have a good night’s sleep, didn’t eat their breakfast, or are hysterical. This is the time that the parents need to remove them from the situation and hold him kindly. This reminds him of what good behavior looks like.
A Child’s Innocent Love
I believe it’s fair to ask the adults to illustrate and encourage kind behavior in their peers just like children and good parents do.
In what playground setting would you agree that it’s okay for a child to yell hateful things to other children or to the entire playground?
I don’t think that anyone would encourage that in that setting. This setting of our modern world with social media and news and politics, I don’t believe it’s acceptable either.
I agree that there are times to yell and raise your voice, so your kid doesn’t run into the street. However those times are far less frequent than we imagine them to be.
They occur even less when we design environments that promote peace and love.
So yes, you will see me yell on occasion. However, it is almost always with the intention of love.
Intentions Behind Love
Letting love win will not be easy. We will have to do many different things such as:
— confront bad behavior with love and kindness but in a firm way.
— remove people or sources from our life that have the goal of spreading fear and hate.
— apologize for the times we don’t say the right thing.
— learn to be more loving and kind in new areas of our lives.
— choose love over hate.
Change the World
I live in a beautiful and loving world and therefore, I am going to keep promoting love and kindness,
refuse to tolerate fear and hate,
do not tolerate dehumanizing any group of people, and
I am not to tolerate name calling.
The only thing I want is love and kindness.
That is what our world is made of. I am going to keep supporting that until the day I die.
If you believe that love can beat hate, then share this post and write your thoughts about how you’re going to choose to spread love today.
Love is a message worth sharing.
Our world needs you and I need you to spread the message of love.
Thank you for being kind.
Thank you for being you.
You can be strong, amazing, powerful and talented and do it all with love,
protect those around you with love,
You can do it.