Fight Hate and Fear by Stepping Up
All right! Well good morning, my friends, and welcome to Live Inspired on the road. We are live through the genius of Facebook and technology and YouTube and our friends up here in Golden, CO. My name is John O’Leary. It’s an honor to be with you today, as it is every day.
I’ve been thinking about all the events that have been taking place in synagogues and in Kroger stores and the tension that I think we as a community feel as we wake up today, on Halloween of all days. And I’m struck by a book that Andy Andrews, a friend of mine, wrote years ago. The title of the book was “How Do You Kill 11 People? It’s a book that traces itself back to Hitler, and explores how he managed to kill 11 million people in an intelligent, free, Christian society.
And the answer throughout the book was, “Well, one lie at a time. That’s how you do it.”
You just do it one lie at a time.
And I think so frequently of how I succumb and surrender to the lies that are going on around me and think of how infrequently I have the courage to stand up to the lies whatever they may be. The jokes, the racism, the anti-Semitic comments that I hear, not as much recently but in the past.
How often do I just let it slide rather than stand up and say no?
I think the way we revolt, and the way we win this war, and the way we make a difference, and the way we ensure that our present and our future is better than our past is that when these things show up in our face, when they show up in our lines, when they show up in our lives, that we have the audacity to
call it out for what it is – whether it be racism or whether it be people who are making fun of those who have beliefs different than their own.
That when we hear comments from those who believe differently than us, that we have the courage to say, “Tell me more about that” or “I don’t agree with what you’re saying.”
I think the way we start building the bridge forward is to learn more from those who have beliefs completely different than our own. It is to actually saddle up and get even a little bit closer. To allow someone to feel the way they do and then for us to lovingly share back why we feel differently. And then hopefully in that conversation, hopefully in that connection, we can sit with someone at the well of life and build toward a future even better than the one that we built to this point.
We can erase the tension and the lies that are around us every day of our lives.
I’m, like many people, pretty beat up right now by what happened in Pittsburgh over the weekend and what seems to be happening with greater frequency.
Going forward, we have to start beating down these walls and building some bridges, so we’re going to be talking about this in our community. It will be shared in our next newsletter that goes out on Monday, and we try to bring on guests to the podcast that give us great ideas on how we can do this not only in our homes, in our places of worship, and in our communities, but also in our lives.
The more we take action on this, the more we can become part of the solution. We’re not just #PrayingForYou or #Thoughts&Prayers, but we’re boldly moving forward to make a difference and ensure that these instances of hate don’t happen again under our watch.
I know it’s Halloween and this is a pretty heavy message to be sharing on Halloween, so I want you to know that although I’m in Golden, CO, I’m leaving this hotel room shortly. I’m going to race down this mountain, I’m going to hop on a plane, and when I get home, I’m going to dress up with my wife and take our kids trick-or-treating.
We’re living the good life. But we will no longer turn a blind eye to the struggles and the tension and the quiet racism or anti-Semitism that we see around us.
We will step up and we will do our part of make a difference.
Because the truth is that we are all ONE. So, let’s start acting like it.
Today is your day. Live Inspired.