Charlottesville: Where Do We Go From Here
Photo by Nina Strehl.

Photo by Nina Strehl.

We have all been shocked by the recent display in Charlotteville, outraged by the images online and shaking our heads in disbelief about what we are witnessing. We are used to seeing these kind of demonstrations in highlight reels of the past, and in images of history. People are asking how this is happening in 2017 and somehow think this is an issue related to time. This isn't a time issue; this is a human condition issue. This is nothing new. We are deceiving ourselves that if we think because we live in an age of technology and communication that this equals advanced morality. These things have not solved our human needs but only masked them. When things are suppressed they eventually will awake. Until we take a real look at what is happening there can not be healing. No tweet, quote or leader can solve this. Perfect love casts out fear. When people are afraid of losing power, control and identity they are motivated with fear which manifests itself in anger and hate. The answer is love. True, unconditional and perfect love that only be found in and from God. Love that is demonstrated with action and love, not in word or speech alone.

We live in a society that talks of love but do we really understand what true love is and what it does? Real love cannot hate. It is impossible because it is motivated by selflessness.  Real love doesn’t need to control because when one moves in love, they have security and confidence and no need to obtain power over another. Real love is not an emotion to please self. Rather it is an action that is selfless. It gives even when there is nothing to be given in return. It is sacrificial and unlimited.

We also can’t continue to blame others for where we are. This isn’t one person’s fault or one person’s job to fix. Take to twitter and look at the tone of what people are saying.  It is a platform full of opinions on all sides. Blame is being shifted other but where do we stop this and start taking responsibility for the communities we are living in?  When will we understand that we can create the world we are living in with our own actions and intentions? It is a collective responsibility. Fear is a bi product and symptom of our own imperfections. In order to find resolves we as each individual must learn to love, know love and be love. Pointing fingers only deflects responsibility off of ourselves and tries to place it on another so we can don’t have to own up to our own contributions to the problem.

WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE

Stop blaming each other- Social media is filled with so much hate and criticism. Don’t believe me? Just read the comments. It’s a constant back and forth with no one really listening and producing no real results. It just keeps adding fire to the fuel and what we see is more of what is happening in Charlottelville. These kind of outbursts will only continue unless we stop the cycle.  Stop your empty words and pointless critiques.  Put down your sword of hate and start being a servant of love.

Take personal responsibility- We all have to evaluate our daily contributions to society. How we treat others? How we demonstrate love and how we are bringing light to our world. It starts in our homes, then to our neighbourhoods and into our communities. We have to be the change and not in ideology, in reality!

Overcome evil with good- You can’t fight fire with fire. Eventually someone will be consumed by flames. The only way to overcome evil is by doing good. Before you act, ask, “is this good’. Before you speak, think “is this good’. Before you post on social ask.”Is this good”. Every action has a consequence. What are you sowing into your world on a daily basis?

Meet in the middle- We have so many opinions and all they have done is pushed us further away from each other. We talk in terms of the left and the right. Now we have alt-right and extreme left. We just keep drifting away from each other. We need to come back to the middle. We need to find common ground and work together. We have to start placing humanity over our pride and opinions, listen to each other and respect one another.

I am making a commitment to using my voice for good. I am choosing to be love and using every chance I get to demonstrate kindness. Will you join with me? Will you choose to start speaking love into society online and in person? Next time you have the opportunity will you choose kindness over hate, selflessness over self and forgiveness over bitterness. When you have the chance to show judgement, will you show mercy instead? When you post on social will you choose to uplift? When you see that Facebook comment, would you engage with love, not hurt. Sure, I know this doesn’t mean not speaking your mind but look where all this opinionated talk has got us so far. Is this the world you want to live in all to prove you are right or justify your side. I would rather love another then to feel validated on my opinion. I am not afraid to not be in control. I am not afraid of losing my voice. I am not afraid about being forgotten. Today I choose love over fear and I want to live in this love everyday and for the rest of my life. 

An entrepreneur, creator, father & husband from Calgary, Scott Bakken is inspiring a generation of creatives to live their best life.