My mom sent me a clip from American Idol with the warning, “You might need a hankie.”
My child and I watched it. But I didn’t cry. I felt angry because it told the story of an elderly man who was terrified of telling his grandson that he was gay. It didn’t seem right that he should still have to fear coming out of hiding.
Why can’t all people be free to live their truth?
The answer may lie in another thing I discovered this week. During Shabbat services, our Rabbi told us that certain white supremacy groups had declared that Saturday to be a ‘Day of Hate.’
At least they were honest about it, Rabbi Mike said, and didn’t try to hide what they were doing behind ‘heritage’ or another obtuse reason. They are hateful, and so they’re having a Day of Hate.
I was just texting with my child’s father. He knows their preferred name and pronouns. But whenever I use ‘they’ he asks if he needs to pick up ‘her’ and a friend because he doesn’t recognize his child’s request.
Why is it so hard to honor the wishes of someone we love, even when we disagree?
I don’t know the answers.
I don’t know why so many people insist on hating.
But I do know one thing.
I choose love.
Love is what connects us to the divine.
There is a spark of the divine in each of us.
And the best way to honor the divine spark in ourselves and others is to love, unconditionally, without judgement.
Love your neighbor.
Love the source of life from which we all flow—by whatever name you call the great Creator.
And if you can stomach it, and can find the strength, I challenge you to meet all the hate and ignorance you encounter with love.
That’s our challenge.