It’s All About Love
When I was in 5th grade, living in Hampton, Virginia, we had a neighbor down the street by the name of Rose. She was probably in her 70’s, and upon our moving into the neighborhood, she decided to welcome my family by baking us a pie.
As my Mom unpacked boxes downstairs, there was a knock on the door.
The knock was gentle but didn’t come from the front door. Looking down the hallway, we saw a young black man standing at our back kitchen door, holding the fresh baked apple pie.
I remember the confused look on my Mom’s face as she approached the door and as she opened the door, the man stepped back and handed her the pie.
“My name is Willie, and I work for Miss Rose on the corner,” he said. “She wanted to welcome you to the neighborhood and invite you to come over for a visit once you’re settled in.”
Reaching for the pie, my Mom thanked him and then asked,
“Willie, why did you come to the back door?”
He explained it is what Miss Rose required him to do when he went to a neighbor’s home.
I saw tears in my mom’s eyes, and she asked Willie to please use the front door like everyone else the next time he came to the house.
It was my first experience as a kid witnessing discrimination.
Leave hate Behind
It was also a valuable lesson I learned on the importance of choosing to show love in spite of fueling hate.
Today, as we remember Martin Luther King, Jr., I once again see the importance of sticking with love. Now more than ever our communities and our country need to come together if we are going survive the next four years.
We have to stop bickering and fighting amongst ourselves if we ever want to move forward.
“We have before us the glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of our civilization.” Martin Luther King Jr.
For many, this week will be one of darkness as the country swears in our 45th President. Many have been vigilant in posting on social media feeds the hatred they have for not only the man who won the election but for anyone who supported his victory.
I get it.
I am troubled by the outcome as well, but when people take to social media posting their hate and disdain for the man who will be sworn in this week, I am left wondering are we in some way acting just like him and his temper tantrum Tweets?
Doesn’t the constant barrage of ill will and disdain towards others bring us down to Trump’s level?
Doesn’t it add fuel to the fire that is already burning out of control?
Doesn’t being hateful promote more hate?
These are questions I have been asking myself for weeks now.
“Let no man pull you low enough to hate him.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
Dr. King faced significant obstacles in his fight for equality.
He was arrested over twenty times, he was violently attacked many times, his home was bombed, and yet he didn’t lose faith that people have the capability to view their own humanity in the lives of others.
He never stopped fighting for what he believed in, and he promoted love, not hate, during some of his darkest moments.
“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.” ~Martin Luther King Jr.
Willie never came to our back door again. In fact, Willie became a friend of the neighborhood kids. After he got off from work at Miss Rose, he would walk down the street to the bus stop to go home.
It would be those walks where he would tell us working for Miss Rose wasn’t bad. He said she was a nice lady, who was stuck in the past. She needed help with things around her house, and he needed a second job to support his family.
Agree to Disagree
Willie taught me that while we may not always agree with others or their viewpoints, we do have the ability to get along and promote love rather than hate.
It’s a pretty simple concept, yet it seems to be quite difficult to do. But maybe, just maybe, if we all do our part, together we can be that catalyst for change.