I read a quote by Mother Teresa that resonated with me.
“People who love each other fully and truly are the happiest people in the world. They may have little, they may have nothing, but they are happy people. Everything depends on how we love one another.”
~ Mother Teresa
When I read this quote, it made me realize something. If everyone loved one another, not only would we be happy, but also the world would be happy as well. There wouldn’t be racism, murder, or stealing, because everyone would be happy and content with one another.
Could you imagine that? A place where white people and Black people could come together and not be hateful to one another. A place people could experience love for one another in a way that would stop domestic violence and sexual assault. A place where broken people choose to befriend their enemies rather than pulling the trigger.
Growing up in Gig Harbor, Washington, I remember a time when a girl was harassing me about my body, claiming I had plastic surgery, because that’s what Black people do. I remember feeling my anger rise and I was close to throwing insults back at her. But I remembered what my grandma taught me: “If someone comes at you with craziness, kill it with kindness, because they’re just saying that to get a rise off of you.” So I just smiled and said thanks, and walked away.
That girl still harassed me often, and every time I responded as best as I could with a smile on my face. It was really hard for me. I’m the type of person to go off on someone who’s either talking about me, my family, my friends, or my culture. But every time she said something, I would just smile and walk away.
This went on for about a year. I was relieved that she stopped because I no longer had to listen to her remarks, but deep down, I always wondered why she stopped. It wasn’t until my eighth grade year that everything changed. I was walking in the hallway to go to my locker when I saw her. She was by herself carrying her books, poster boards, and markers. I continued what I was doing and put my stuff in my locker. Then all of a sudden, I heard stuff fall on the floor. I looked to my right and saw that she had dropped all her stuff. A battle rose inside me. Should I help her? I did. For the rest of the school year, we were friends. She ended up apologizing for everything she had done to me.
See, the power, the intensity, of loving others has an effect on people. Imagine what our communities would look like if we all chose to love one another. I believe that it would change the world.