Saturday, January 3, 2009

Loving the Unlovable

After I wrote the post before this, I got to thinking that people would have questions as to how you love someone who is unlovable. How do you love someone who hurt people? How do you love those whom we are at war with? Not everyone can. In fact, I would go so far as to say that probably most of us couldn't.

As I mentioned in previous posts, I really believe that when we are born, we are born as pure, unconditional, perfect love. When we're born, we do not just decide that we are going to commit crimes, kill people, or become a terrorist when we grow up. Everything we become is a result of our upbringing, our experiences, and our environment. We are taught to become by those instances.

I know that many who read the previous post (Humanity's Hope) will ask, "how can I love a terrorist?" You can't. What I try to do is remember that person as a newborn. Before they were brainwashed into believing that they had to kill. Before they were taught to hate. In no way do I condone their actions (whether they are a terrorist or anyone else who harms humanity). They still have to be accountable for their actions and to answer for them in whatever ways society dictates.

That's how I feel the connection between all of us. If we look to people as they are now, it's very easy to feel disconnected. It's hard to feel the love, compassion, and understanding. I also try to remember that they were taught to hate.

I also realize that people always have a choice. But they only have a choice when they are aware that they have a choice. Most people go through their lives believing that their life circumstances are a result because they didn't have a choice. We always have a choice; even if that choice is to feel that we don't have a choice.

I would highly recommend that you read Immaculee Ilibagiza's books, "Left to Tell" and "Led by Faith." I don't think any other book has had the impact on me that these books have had. You see, Immaculee is a survivor of the 1994 Rwandan genocide in Africa. Just about all of her family, relatives, and friends were literally slaughtered by the militia. When the Hutu extremists raided her village to kill all of the Tutsi's, she was able to escape to the home of a local friend and Hutu minister (Imamaculee is a Tutsi) who hid Immaculee and seven other women (eight total) in a small bathroom measuring three foot by four foot (yes, you read that right) for three months. They couldn't make a sound as the Hutu's would go through the house every day looking for them. (A large dressing bureau was placed in front of the door.) The minister would give them food when he could, but sometimes, they could go days without eating. When Immaculee went into hiding, she weighed 115 pounds. When she came out, she weighed 65 pounds.

The extraordinary thing about Immaculee was that she was able to forgive all those who commit ed such heinous crimes against her family! Can you imagine?!? Personally, I don't think I could have been so gracious. She is now married with children, and works for the United Nations in New York, and continues to work to help those who were affected by the genocide, particularly the children.

So, I think for myself, if Immaculee can do what she did after living through such a horrendous experience, then I can at least try. Our humanity and our world depends on each of us. Without us, there is no hope.

For more information about Immaculee, please go to her website at: http://www.immaculee.com/

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