Society seems to have embraced anger, hate, vitriol and fear now more than ever. Actions and words that shock the collective consciousness of a civilized society have become battle cries hastened by the voices of a few emboldened souls who condemn anything and anyone that does not fit within their idea of rightness or deservedness. This ‘us versus them’ mentality has led to a staggering increase in hate speech and crimes against groups of people based solely on skin color, religion, sexuality, political belief and economic status, to name a few.

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While I would never profess to know why this is occurring at this moment in time, what I can say is that based on my own experience and observations, the collective is turning towards a more loving society. This sounds counterintuitive, I know, but hear me out. I believe that everyone, at their core, is good, loving and kind. The anger, hate and fear that we see is learned. It can be passed down from generation to generation, or it can simply be a product of being swept up in demagoguery. However hate is born, it is born of fear. Fear of loss or lack. Fear of difference. Fear of isolation.

“There are only two emotions: love and fear. All positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions from fear. From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy. From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety and guilt. It's true that there are only two primary emotions, love and fear. But it's more accurate to say that there is only love or fear, for we cannot feel these two emotions together, at exactly the same time. They're opposites. If we're in fear, we are not in a place of love. When we're in a place of love, we cannot be in a place of fear.” 

~Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Love and fear are mutually exclusive, and emblematic of how we view ourselves. As humans, what we think, say and do is a reflection of how we see ourselves. A person who outwardly projects anger, hate, anxiety, jealousy or guilt is also, on either a conscious or unconscious level, projecting these emotions at themselves. Their hearts are filled with fear rather than love.

As a collective, I believe that we want to heal these hearts. No, we must do our part to contribute to the healing of these hearts. While of late the vitriol has been far louder than the love, remember that love begets “happiness contentment, peace, and joy.” Love is patient and kind (1 Cor. 13:4). If love reacted to vitriol with vitriol, then it would not be love.

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That is not to say that those on the side of love should do nothing. Quite the contrary. I believe that this uptick in fear by the few is moving the world into bold action and acceptance of the mandate to effect change through word and deed inspired by love and compassion. And this entails being so filled with and secure in love for ourselves that we cannot be overrun by fear or fall prey to fear-based reaction.

I have no doubt that love will win out, but it will take conscious effort to imbue first ourselves and then our communities with the positive emotions and goodness that flow from authentic, unbending love. Recognize that you can only give what you have. If you are, first and foremost, kind and compassionate with yourself, you will exude kindness and compassion to the world, and the ripple effect will extend outward through this and future generations.

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