I have a certain way of being in the world, and I shall not, I shall not be moved from doing what I think is right by jealousy, ignorance, or hate.
When recently asked about “the haters” by an 8 year old boy, Patriots quarterback Tom Brady responded with a smile.
…the haters? We love ’em! We love ’em back!
Because we don’t hate back.
Just about knocked me off my feet getting dressed one morning last week. While watching Good Morning America’s “kid correspondent” interview football players at the pre-Super Bowl media events.
No matter what you think of TB12 or the Patriots or even football, that answer shines a bright light. What a concept: Love them back.
Perhaps easy for someone like Brady, who is privileged and insulated from those aforementioned haters. Who troll on his Instagram feed and who knows what else.
What a concept for a child to hear from a public persona. A role model even.
And…dare I say…for adults to hear as well.
Who, it seems, in the last couple of years have grouped themselves into political camps of haters…on one side or the other. Who is in charge in the USA. And who isn’t.
Notice I don’t say haters and non-haters. There is too little visible love on either side. There is just hate, distrust and fear for the “other.” Whether it be the other political party, the other politician, the Other who looks nothing like you or sounds nothing like you. Or doesn’t think like you.
In many cases, this fear slips out…crossing that invisible line…morphing into hurtful anger directed at those you profess to love. Your partner. Your parent. Your sister. Your brother. Your best friend. Your child. Because they disagree with what you hate. Or don’t hate.
How could he believe that?
How could she vote for him?
How could he vote for her?
I just can’t visit them anymore.
Is it fear…or ignorance…
Or perhaps inescapable helplessness.
As reality tilts and shifts.
Right becoming righteous
When grounded in hate…
Blindly insisting on one way.
Shades of gray disappearing…
Crowding out space for understanding why…
And where do we go from here.
In the end
Reaching for what
for our shared humanity.
loving the haters.
At least it’s a start.