As I reflect on the Summer I have nothing but gratitude for the time I have had with family and friends, places I have seen, people I have met and most of all the love that exists in the world. I know there is an element of evil out there as well. What happened in Virginia yesterday is evidence of the ugliness and hate that can lash out. I think we most often find the thing we seek in this world. We tend to find the best or worst out there depending on us. I cannot guarantee evil may never strike at us, but I believe we have given ourselves the greatest shelter we can by not seeking it out. Not a single person would have been harmed yesterday if they had not been there. There would have been no protests had ignorant people not been demanding statues be removed. It all begins with hate and intolerance. We as a people should focus our energy on things more meaningful. Service, time with loved ones, yard work, the beach, mountains, sand dunes, or hundreds of other activities. Until we reject hate absolutely this is society.
Here are three ways you can protect yourself and those you care about. 1. Be tolerant of others. Being tolerant does not necessarily mean you agree, but an attitude of tolerance does bring greater patience and understanding. We live in a world of diverse ideas, cultures and people. Diversity is and can be beautiful. The truth is we have more in common than our differences. When we actually seek to understand what is important to each other it is amazing how easy it is to find solutions. 2. Avoid protests and demonstrations. People that attend these events are not there to be peaceful. These activities have been usurped by extremists and that much passion and hate tends to radicalize people very quickly. Is there any wonder why so much violence has erupted and damage to property that results? These events are about anarchy. You have the greatest chance of being hurt just by showing up. 3. Don’t buy into the media. The doom they report on does not bring joy, hope or peace. It really is quite stressful and depressing. We have it in us to change the world. Decide on what you can do. We may not have the reach to change the world for all but we can absolutely change it for one person. One family. One neighborhood. One ward. One City. It is up to us. Hope is demanding to be let out. When we as a society reject hate and choose Charity, evil will have no hold on us.