To the editor:
After hearing from numerous persons and reading in the paper about the disgusting behavior exhibited by some of the fans, students, team players and the coach at the basketball game between Blytheville and Brookland, I was both saddened and sickened. I’m convinced these were taught behaviors that possibly span over generations.
I’m sickened because it’s hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that people will commit unprovocated acts of evil without cause. I know it happens because I’ve seen it and heard about it all my life, yet my mind is not willing to accept this behavior because I know there is a better and more prosperous way. The thought that is most puzzling to me is “why would someone teach the ones they love a precept that manifests into unsavory behavior that ultimately, if not changed, will lead to their demise”?
Love and hate cannot abide peacefully in the same heart for there will be a “wrestling of the spirits” where one spirt will dominate over the other and you will obey the dominant spirit. Proverbs 23:7 tells us that for as one thinks in his heart, so is he. This means that the thoughts you dwell on and think about strongly enough result in reflective actions. When love abides, you want what’s best for the person you love and you want them to prosper. There is no prosperity in hate; it will take you further than you want and to places you didn’t intend to go.
I am fortunate to have lived in an era where I’ve seen both widespread love and hate. I grew up in a community where we were dependent upon one another for our survival. Neighbors looked out for each other and their children. We put together the pieces that we had to “make us whole”.
This was done indiscriminately without regard to race or color. There was one white family living in the midst of a predominantly black community but nobody seemed to care about the color; we did things to help each other out. I don’t mean to infer that everybody was loving and kind, but those of us who were “like-minded” with a love for one another were able to have victory over the forces of evil by binding together in love and being strength for each other with the Almighty God as our Source. Even though the work week was long and grueling, we still, for the most part, fellowshipped in worship on Sundays sometimes all day long and even into night services. There was discipline and consequences for negative behavior. When disagreements came, some of which led to physical altercations, parents came together in peace and love, bringing those involved, and came to a mutual agreement what action needed to be taken. The children were required to “squash” their differences, embrace each other and even apologize to one another and most of the time, the friendly relationship was restored. Children were not allowed to have association with “known” troublemakers.
I’ve also seen the sickened hateful side and have harbored hateful and vicious thoughts about others myself until I was reminded by two co-workers of mine who were ethnically diverse of the unconditional love that had been shown to me as a child. I refer to them as my “Damascus Road” experience which was the beginning of my life being turned around from hating. I’m convinced they had the “TRUE LOVE” of God in their hearts and were sent by God to cause a change in me. During my “hate experience,” I was angry most of the time, I plotted evil deeds I planned to carry out if a situation necessitated, and felt tired and burdened all the time I was armed at all times even as I slept and was prepared to use my firearm regardless of the consequences. Hate had made me a prisoner and I didn’t even know it. There was no rest or peace in my mind and no matter how long I slept, I woke up tired. I am so thankful to have been delivered from that “burden” and can now enjoy a peace that supasses all understanding. While I am still disgusted by the evil deeds and heartless expressions of some people, I can truly say, “I don’t hate anybody,” and I now know to continually guard my heart against hate. I’m more so saddened that those who do hate (regardless of ethnicity) don’t know the real joy and lightheartedness that love brings. It makes you free indeed!
For those who teach hate to the ones you love, I challenge you to try the Love of God; that unconditional Love that’s True and prosperous to all it touches. Then those you love will be equipped to survive in any environment and enjoy that same peace I have that will cause them to prosper tin ways that no amount of silver, gold, money, diamonds, or other material riches can measure up to.
— Lillie Lucas