Focus on the good
Last Sunday night a rally was held in front of town hall. It was a rally against racism and in support of Charlottesville. About 40 people were there with signs including children. As drivers passed by, they honked in support. All except for one car that yelled something undiscernible out the window. While the words could not be made out the tone was angry and hostile. It temporarily shattered the holy space that had been created. After a moment, the group returned to singing and cars honked more support.
I was asked to say a few words and I wanted to share with you what I said to that group. I told the group that there were about 70 cars that passed by in support and one that did not. I reminded those gathered to focus on the 70 not the one. It is easy for us to focus and see the evil in the world. There is a good reason for that. It sticks out like a sore thumb. One rotten apple can be clearly picked out of a barrel of good ones.
Last week there were anywhere from 200-400 white supremacists in Charlottesville. One of the reasons I think they shake us is because they stick out, they do not fit. There is no place for them in this world and when they try to say there is it shakes us. I want to be clear, as one who tries to listen and learn from everyone, they have no point worth making. No argument that is worth hearing. They spew hate and non-sense, and that is what makes their existence so confounding.
Remember, however, that the majority of people of this planet are good people that do have something to say. The majority of people do have points worth considering. You are just going to have to trust me and believe me when I say that there really are more good people in this world then bad. And not by a small margin, but disproportionate.
So how do we not let the few evil people prevail? We take away their voice. We speak up and silence their words as illegitimate. As Moses reminds the Israelite people over and over again, listen to the one true God, not the false gods.
Who are the false gods? The false gods are those that make us only think of ourselves. The false gods are those idols and ideas, that make us our worst selves. The true God, on the other hand, makes us elevate ourselves when we listen. The true God makes us and the world better. The true God creates and does not destroy. Ask yourself, who are you going to listen to? Who are you going to remind others to listen to? Are you going to listen to the 70 horns of hope and support or the one horn of hate and divisiveness? Not every sound is worthy of our attention or consideration and neither are those who spew hate.