“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King Jr.
This idea from Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the most fundamental beliefs we hold near and dear to our little blue heart here at CanadaLoves.ca and it played a significant role in inspiring us to create this community.
It is impossible for most of us to fully understand, internalize, and appreciate the incredible character, the extraordinary capacity for forgiveness, and dedication to finding peaceful solutions that Martin Luther King Jr. possessed; he, along with the hundreds of millions of people who were (and continue to be) brutally punished and oppressed because of the colour of their skin. We know, there has been darkness, pain, and justified frustration. Despite all of the disgusting and infuriating injustices our fellow humans suffered, Martin Luther King Jr. still had the capacity to promote and elevate love and kindness above all.
People are angry. People are exhausted, sad, frustrated, isolated, fearful, and downright fed-up in the world right now. Yet we need to belong, to feel accepted, secure, and to have a purpose. And from sadness, frustration, and fear, we see people joining this side or that. Social media algorithms are designed to trigger us and incite strong emotional reactions. To drive engagement this has resulted in the unfortunate consequence of creating the illusion that we are deeply and violently divided; that the hopes, dreams, values, and security we want for our families are dramatically different than what our neighbours want, or what we want for our neighbours.
There is a lifetime of work to be done before equality and justice become a reality. One cannot hate the racism out of a person. So where do we start? This brings us back to our initial quote, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” The work lies in looking inside and reflecting on how we truly feel about ourselves, our neighbours, and the world. We can identify our triggers, see where we’ve been worked-up, and consider when misinformation has led us down a dark path by people who are intentionally exploiting us by preying on our fears.
Everything we do is either out of love or fear. In a previous article, we discussed the idea that love and kindness is a universal thread that runs through all of us and that everybody on this planet has the capacity to love and to be loved. We can challenge ourselves and others to become more empathetic thinkers and make empathy a priority in our interactions with others.
We certainly don’t have all of the answers here at CanadaLoves.ca or believe that we are doing everything right, but we are most definitely leading with empathetic hearts. Our future depends on the conversation we are brave enough to become part of, and the actions we take as a result.
Please share your thoughts with us and help us learn and grow – collectively.