“Be the change that you want to see in the world.”
Hate crimes, bullying, rape, domestic violence, prejudice… sometimes it seems like this world is an awful place. There are days where everywhere I’ve turned I’ve witnessed some kind of pain, small and large; these are the days that make me strong. Ever since my middle school years spent as the target of seemingly tireless, remorseless bullies I have wanted to make a change. I’ve tried big things and small things, projects not worth even touching on here… but nothing worked. My mistake? Looking outward.
Be the change you wish to see in the world, its that simple. I can practice tolerance, I can live my life with love and kindness for everyone I meet. What I cannot do, however, is talk others into doing the same; their change, just like mine, must come from within. That’s where this challenge comes into place. We all have prejudices, I’m the first to admit I have them as well but those prejudices are baseless – once you try to understand the person you harbor so much hate against, you can find a way to love them.
So, the assignment is simple. First, think of someone you don’t like; someone who makes you nervous, uncomfortable; someone who is just so different from you that there’s no way you’ll ever get along; someone who is weird; someone who challenges your beliefs; someone who bullied you; someone you’ve never met. Now, talk to them. Invite them for coffee. Go for a walk. Get to know them. I promise you, after this nothing in your life will be the same. This assignment is about knocking down walls, about wrapping our hearts around someone we never would have tried to meet normally. About confronting our prejudices head on with real, human interaction. It’s about giving ourselves over to love, for everyone, so that others might try the same.
The next step is optional, it’s all up to you; if you want it to end here it can – move on with a new understanding, hopefully even a new friend or two! However, if you feel so changed, so moved, that you want to share – please write in! My goal, eventually, is to feature a new story each day among other positive articles, quotes, interviews, and images.
All emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Picture accompaniments, drawings, poetry, and other forms of expression are completley welcome as well!