One thing I have learned in 28 years and a decade of international travel is that hate begets hate begets hate.
Six years ago, students at Ohio Wesleyan University banded together for Love Day on the Jay, a celebration of spirit on the main walkway. This was in anticipation of the Westboro Baptist Church, a xenophobic evangelical group, protesting the university’s showing of The Anatomy of Hate, featuring the preachers in all their spiteful glory.
At OWU, instead of our own protest, we danced, we sang, we clapped, we hugged, we LIVED. We did more than exist. We strove to peacefully enact change. We united no matter our skin color, religious beliefs, economic status, abilities or sexual orientation.
I am proud to be an OWUer. I was once proud to be an American. But I am no longer proud to be born into this land of opportunity. Yet, short of foregoing my citizenship, I cannot undo my birthright.
So, I will strive to be of an origin that does not invoke from the global community a sense of scorn, hatred or pity. I will strive to be an American that Americans can be proud of. I will strive to love you, be you gay, lesbian, black, white, atheist, Muslim or Trump, with all my heart. Because I really, truly, whole-goddamned-heartedly, believe love is what makes the world go round.
If we keep on hating, we will crumble, as individuals, as a country, as a world.
Love yourself, love your enemy, love your dog, love the earth, love the disabled, love the homeless, love this life.