I want to love people well until they say things like:
“Black people are ruining the country.”
Racist Grande Two-Pump Mocha used to come in every morning at six. He said hello. He was friendly. He ordered the same thing every day. He smiled when he said brazenly opinionated things about race, healthcare, education and immigration. When I come to work in the wee hours of the morning, I don’t want to hear that the color of my skin is the reason for national debt, sub par educational systems, frustrating healthcare, the recession, and the threat of Ebola.
It seems so simple to "love" the people we like, or can have pity on. We talk about “loving” them as if it were as simple as handing them a cup of coffee, giving them a dollar bill, or praying empty “bless ‘em” prayers. My problem is that I can be nice and do any of these things without love. Nice and love are not synonymous.
And by love, don't I really mean that I just want to be more considerate and more respectful of the presence that I share with people? And, don't I expect to receive that respect in return? With that, loving “Racist Grande Two-Pump Mocha” looks more like ignoring his comments, faking a smile, and shoving him an overpriced latte all while trying not to lose my job.
I know that this is not what real love looks like. It does not look like passively walking away and pretending that I didn't see, hear or experience injustice.
There are people that will go on committing their injustices with smiles on their faces as if they've solved some of the worlds problems by opening up their uninformed mouths, striking their fists at the innocent, or abandoning their children. There are people who will oppose and object all of the many beautiful things that we can't change. Its infuriating.
Because of this, love doesn't have to look like fluff. Love can look like leading a revolution or adding value, honesty, grit, and integrity to the greater conversations about humanity. Love can look like looking someone straight in the eyes and saying, "This isn't right."
Being kind to people who openly oppose any part of who you are is frustrating and humiliating. Let’s shake off our entitlement for a moment and realize that we are no more worthy of respect than they are. Sometimes, we too need love to look like honesty.
For "Racist Grande Two-Pump Mocha", what if love looks like offering a different narrative, a different reason, a different perspective? What if it looks like not being offended by his racism but kindly telling him the truth?
Discover More Truth in Love
One of my favorite plays tells the truth.
See Princess Cut in Nashville on
November 14, 2014 at 7:30 p.m.
These TED talks speak truth:
Color Blind or Color Brave? - Mellody Hobson
"We Should All Be Feminists" - Chimamanda Ngoze Adiche
"The Danger of the Single Story" - Chimamanda Ngoze Adiche
"I am the son of a terrorist. Here's how I chose peace." - Zak Ebrahim
"True Colors" - John Legend
"The Power of Vulnerability" - Brene Brown
For the purpose of this post I have replaced the Racist Grande Two-Pump Mocha's real name with the name of a random drink order. For the sake of anonymity please understand that Racist Grande Two-Pump Mocha does not actually order a grande two-pump mocha. Thank you.