Good versus Evil. Love versus hate.
There has always been this dichotomy. A battle between good and evil, right and wrong. It’s not a new problem, but I’d venture to guess that most of us have felt a rise in the hatred surrounding us recently.
The increased acceptance of hate–in hateful thoughts, speech, and behavior—is real and it is daunting. Though it might be felt more intensely for the direct target of the hate, it can feel disempowering for all of us.
Whenever I feel that sense of powerless, I’m reminded of my favorite quote from Anne Frank. She said, “How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
The way that I take back my power to combat the hate is by leading with love. Leading with love is a mindset and an action. It is grounded in the belief that all people need to be loved. Leading with love means that I have the power to behave in a loving way.
You’ve heard of the ripple effect, right? I bet you’ve benefited from it at some point in your life. Someone holds the door open for a stranger whose hands are full. That person then greets her coworkers warmly, with a little brightness. One coworker, who was having a terrible morning, feels a little more hope for the day ahead. Another anxious coworker felt more optimistic that her voice will be heard at the big meeting.
Individuals can choose to spread love to everyone they come in contact with. That one moment can have to power to tip the balance from negative to positive.
We may never know the impact that one small act of kindness creates. It may seem insignificant at first, but that ripple grows and certainly starts to improve the world.
So in those moments of overwhelm, when you experience hatred and aren’t sure what to do, remind yourself that loving-kindness persists. It’s a powerful tool in our everyday lives, and it absolutely works to combat the evil and hate we see every day.
How will you lead with love today?