“At times like these, people ask ‘How do we make sense of this?’ I say we don’t. To make sense of it means to understand, to comprehend, to relate somehow and that’s not acceptable to me. So what DO I believe?” Ciara Gogan took to her Facebook page to answer this question through a profound and powerful piece, in which she beautifully articulates her rationale for the Kindness Revolution she wants to start with the help and participation of others. These are Ciara’s words and Women You Should Know is honored to amplify her voice and message.
by Ciara Gogan
Hate is a powerful emotion. It causes people to do things that most of us can’t imagine anyone doing. How does someone become so hateful that they feel it’s OK to walk into a club, a cinema, an office, a school, a market place, a marathon, and kill random strangers, or ex-coworkers, or kids! I don’t have an answer to this question, I truly can’t imagine what would drive someone to such a place in their minds. I’m glad I can’t imagine…I don’t want that amount of darkness in my mind.
At times like these, people ask “How do we make sense of this?” I say we don’t. To make sense of it means to understand, to comprehend, to relate somehow and that’s not acceptable to me. So what DO I believe?
I believe that to counter hate, we must Love. Love our family & friends (this one should be easy enough), Love ourselves (hmm, not so easy for some of us), Love those who are different from us (different race, different religion, different economic status, different sexual-orientation, different color, different ____), Love those who don’t Love, or even like us (now, we’re getting to the tough stuff!)
Why do I believe this, that ?#?LoveConquersHate? ? Because if there were more Love and kindness in the world, there would be less people to radicalize, less people willing to hate, less fighting, less posturing, less war, less fear of the “other”.
“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.” – Maya Angelou
For those of you thinking “But I’m just one person, what difference can I make”, let me tell you…you can make an enormous difference! How many people do you encounter every day? 4, 20, 50? Imagine all the people that you drive alongside every day on the way to and from work, all the people who serve you lunch, dinner, your coffee, or pump your gas? Now, instead of honking your horn at the guy who cuts you off, or flipping off the woman who won’t let you change lanes, smile and think “have an awesome day”…and mean it!
Instead of mindlessly ordering your coffee and simultaneously texting/Tweeting/Facebooking, look up, make eye contact with your server & say “Thank You!”
Call your family members & tell them you love them, even if it’s hard.
A little kindness goes a long way. Imagine if all the people you touch with your kindness go on to touch 10 people, and they in turn each touch 10 people and so on…every one of your acts of kindness has the potential to positively impact hundreds of others!
This all takes a leap of faith of course because you will never know when & how far the ripples of kindness spread but, I can guarantee you this, you will feel better about yourself & the people in your immediate circle will see and feel it too.
If you want to take this a step further, and I urge you to…reach out directly to someone the LGBTQ community AND someone in the Muslim community. I’m certain that both are feeling especially vulnerable right now & hateful rhetoric is being spread about both groups. What should you say in your outreach? That’s up to you. It should be positive and supportive. Think about what you would want someone to say to you if you were feeling threatened & hated. If you are LGBTQ or Muslim, reach out to someone from the other community. If you are both, I love your strength. Reach out to someone & tell them your story, it will make an impact!
Let’s drown out the voices of hate with Love and compassion.
Please share your #KindnessRevolution ideas in the comments too, let’s get this thing going!
About The Author
Ciara Gogan is a Women’s Self-Empowerment Specialist & Certified Master Life Coach who believes that all women should be confident, empowered people who believe in themselves. She has lived on 3 continents – grew up in Ireland, spent a year in Australia in the 80’s, and moved to the US 20+ years ago – and currently lives just south of Boston with her fabulous wife of 8 years, Deb.