The World Could Use An Extra Dose of Love
By Adunola Adeshola
Instead of love we have fear.
Instead of peace we have violence.
Instead of acceptance we often receive brutal unwarranted judgement.
I’ve learned in my span of life, thus far, that there are many things we cannot change. We cannot change the weather. We cannot change our height. We cannot change our birth place. And, we cannot change people.
The last is perhaps the most important ideology that we must begin to understand. We cannot change people’s decisions. We cannot change people’s mistakes. We cannot change people’s temperament. We cannot change people’s upbringing. We cannot change people’s culture. The list goes on and on of things we cannot change of people.
Yet, the largest U.S. mass murder shooting that occurred earlier this morning in Orlando, Florida was initiated by a man who did not understand this ideology: we cannot change people. He, possibly, believed that his act of injustice would spark a desire in the minds of those in the LGBT community to want to change their ways. Imaginably, he envisioned that his actions would lead to a world of heterosexualism.
But, he was wrong. His decisions, rather, have led to sadness, anger, fear, hate and confusion. His miscalculations may only lead to more terror in the hearts of those who desperately desire to be themselves. His oversight may instead lead to more violence in the future and nothing he aspired to be accomplished will see the fulfillment he projected.
As a Christian woman, I believe the word of Jesus Christ. I believe that God has called us to live a life of heterosexualism. I believe that God has called women to be with men and men to be with women, only. I also believe that God has called us to rid our lives of drunkenness, wild parties, jealously, hostility, selfishness, pride, lustful pleasures and so forth. Yet, I admit to nights of too many drinks and wild parties. I confess to expressing hostility to those who have offended me. I must add that I’ve had days where pride stopped me from doing something I should have done and I’ve had evenings where selfishness paralyzed me from seeing the bigger picture. Finally, I confess that I am not perfect and neither are those in the LGBT community – or you. And, I do not believe that one sin is greater than any other.
I do believe, however, that the ultimate mantra in life is to love others. We ought to love even when we don’t understand. Even when we can’t begin to sympathize or relate. Even when we effortlessly do not seem to struggle with the character flaw perceived in another. So often do people, even Christians ourselves, forsake our call to love because we don’t agree with the decisions or lifestyles of those around us.
I believe that every sensible U.S. citizen who heard about the mass murder that occurred at the Florida nightclub felt a sense of deep sadness and concern, regardless of one’s view of the LGBT community. Because, in reality, any of us could have been there. It could have been our daughter we didn’t know was a lesbian, our brother we disowned for being gay, our best friend who wanted to enjoy a night on the town, or our co-worker who always has a smile on his face. And for some of us, it was. I believe that each of us should not forget the feeling we felt when we discovered the nightmare that occurred on that dreadful morning; the realization that innocent humans lost their lives to a man who could not accept that he cannot change people.
Although he lies on the end of a spectrum that many of us cannot begin to even fathom resting on, we should consider the actions we have made in the past that indicate our unwillingness to accept and love others. Moreover, we should not only consider them, we should make a bold decision to do better as individuals. Despite the fact that we may never even contemplate making the decision the shooter made today, we too, at some point, have added to the innumerable acts of injustice in our world.
Pray for those you don't understand and pray for all the families impacted by the senseless mass shooting. We can all use an extra dose of love.