10 Steps to Combat Hate
A practical guide for Stay At Home Moms
This morning I went to Mass. The priest held up a sign that said
“My privilege, is largely, invisible to me.”
He went on (as priests do) about how he was a English speaking, white, male — his privilege. He used an interesting comparison (as priests do) about his height. He told a story of helping a woman at the grocery store reach a can on the top shelf — his height is a gift, he didn’t earn it AND he sometimes forgets that he is tall.
His height is invisible to him.
He is male, born that way, didn’t chose it. His maleness is invisible to him.
He only speaks English . . . he can always find someone that speaks English. A language barrier is invisible to him.
How can I (we) make a difference?
I’m not tall, male, a priest . . . I am short, white, female, SAHM. Could we be more different. How can I make a difference? Who would listen to me?
What follows is a list compiled from several sources offering options and ideas that I’ve tweaked to become available to me, a engaged SAHM/WAHM.
We can ALL make a difference. No excuses.
It is so overwhelming to not know where to start, yet really wanting to make a difference. There has been no time in history, like the present to begin standing up for what we believe.
- Taking action against hate. For me that means not allowing hatefulness to happen in “my house”. I will not tolerate hateful speech or actions in my presence. Simply saying “that is not ok.” can be enough to draw awareness to the situation.
- Finding a group that is like minded and rally together to stop hate. This might get tricky with schedules but I can always devote time in prayer and adoration. My friends are great prayer warriors.
- Supporting the victims. I wear a safety pin. This is a universal outward sign that I will provide safety to anyone who needs it. I’m willing to do that. I don’t know what that looks like — but I’m not afraid to help.
- Speaking up. Normally, this isn’t a problem for me but in the past few months as I have written more and more articles about mindful parenting in areas/topics that are uncomfortable, I’ve lost friends. I’ve gained new friends that support me. I am a voice for kids who are different. I am proud of that.
- Education. So important. What is a hate crime? What is freedom of speech? What is LGBTQ? Learning is the key to understanding. Understanding does NOT mean you condone a behavior. It means you understand it. Awareness is vitally important. Awareness does not equal acceptance.
- Meet hate with love and unity. This means do not attend a hate rally but we can hold a event that supports love and compassion.
- Find your political leaders — local and beyond. Know the mayor, local representatives, police chief . . . this can be easier said than done — you don’t need “know them, know them” but names and phone numbers and the platform they run on. See #5, educate yourself on the best person to contact. I keep a small list on my phone that helps me stay connected to my representatives. I used people from #2 to help me with templates for emails and phone calls. The idea of coming up with the right words in 30 seconds was daunting so I had someone else figure that out for me. We need community.
- Keep it up! Stay engaged with the groups you are in and expand your like minded circle. Go to an event that you haven’t gone to before, ask your group to help you expand. Or, stay right where you are until you are needed. There is no shortage of groups that need help.
- Become a teacher. I have been a homeschool mom for 9 years, teaching is second nature to me. I not only teach reading, hand writing, math, and science but also community service, religion, spirituality, and a oneness concept. My kids are in all kinds of sports offering me the opportunity to be a voice for meeting one another with compassion. I write about mindfulness — even on the hard days. My suggestion is to start small at home and then expand. Teaching has a ripple effect that continues long past the initial drop of truth.
- Personal Responsibility. I often ask myself, “am I meeting that person with love?” Someone cuts me off in traffic, has 100 items in the 15 or less line, acts poorly to me in anyway . . . I am responsible for my response. Do I react without thinking? or do I pause and then respond. Begin thinking in a critical matter about intolerance. My own prejudices. I have more work to do but I am constantly aware of how I meet the spirit of others. I am responsible for the energy that I bring — that is a powerful concept.
What is invisible to you?
As the priest was speaking I was thinking about what is invisible to me? What privileges do I have? How can I make them visible in my heart and serve others? How might I use my gifts to serve the greater humanity?
I am just one woman but I know I can make a difference. I wake up each day with that intention.
How will I be asked to serve today?
I don’t fear the answer that will be revealed to me throughout the day.
If you know someone who wants to make a difference but needs a little nudge, please share. The more souls we can encourage to serve in their own way, the better our planet will be.