Editors Note: This blog is being republished with permission from Erika Petrelli Bayh, Senior Vice President of Leadership Development at The Leadership Program. Thank you Erika for this very important message.
I’m so sad about the news that came out of Pittsburgh on October 27th and the straight-up hate that instigated it. Especially in this month when we’ve been talking so much about Bullying Prevention and kindness. I’ve been sitting and staring at a blank paper for a few days now, trying to put words to it. And I’ve come to realize that I just never will have the right words or the smart words or the healing words for moments like this.
I don’t understand that kind of blatant and impersonal hatred. Never have. But I’m sure I’ve done it in some way, you know? Acted in bias towards someone based on an assumption rather than a knowing. That’s where it all starts, anyway.
I keep coming back and back and back to this quote: “An enemy is just someone whose story you haven’t heard.”
Most enemies we have are just people we haven’t yet tried to understand.
Have I used this analogy before? So often lately I feel like Rocky Balboa in Rocky III, when he is racing Apollo Creed on the beach and he just stops running. He just gives up, because it’s all too much. (I love Rocky. Like, a lot.)
But it’s true… it can just feel like “oh, forget it.”
But I tell myself this today, and I tell you too…. Don’t stop running.
If you don’t understand someone, try harder.
If you find yourself at odds with someone, be open to listening.
If you see someone struggling, reach out your hand.
If you have a choice to say something hateful or say nothing… say nothing.
If you have an opportunity to say something kind… say it.
If you love someone, tell them. Tell them.
The sunrise was stunningly beautiful this morning. Did you see it? And one thing that struck me is that the sun rises for all of us, every day. No matter our beliefs, our backgrounds, our personal stories, our life situations, our geographical location.
The sun rises.
And when the sun rises, while you still have breath, rise with it. Because today is the only day.
What will you do with it?
For breakfast, I had coffee and leftover Halloween candy.