Monday, March 14, 2011

Eyes of Love

When my mom was a little girl she used to cry herself to sleep wishing that she had been born Native American. I inherited my mother's love of other peoples and cultures. When I was ten I dressed up as a middle eastern woman (veil and all) for Halloween. When I was twelve I purchased disks and books trying to teach myself Hebrew so that I could go live in Israel. I have a Guatemalan sister who is the embodiment of love and kindness. I see the richness that different cultures, backgrounds, religious beliefs and traditions can bring to our lives. 

Growing up I was lucky enough to travel to nine countries in Europe with my mom. I have been so privileged to see other places and learn of other cultures. I have been blessed with a mother who has constantly taught me to love other learn about their traditions and judge each individual on their heart and not their skin color, religious beliefs, accent, etc.

I stumbled upon this talk during my personal study and wanted to shout it from the rooftops. There are so many great quotes from Elder Morrison's talk but this one seems all encompassing:  "Sadly, however, deep divisions of race, ethnicity, politics, economic status, and culture still separate people the world over. These divisions corrode, corrupt, and destroy relationships between neighbors and prevent the establishment of societies where there is “no contention in the land, because of the love of God which [dwells] in the hearts of the people” (4 Ne. 1:15)."

It is so important that we are accepting, tolerant, and respectful to others - including those with whom we do not agree! I truly believe that the type of person we are is not measured by how we act when things are easy but, instead, when we are confronted with something that it hard (whatever that may be). It is easy to surround yourself with people who look, talk, and think like you. It is divine to be accepting, loving, and tolerant of everyone. We need to celebrate diversity in its many forms.

The consequences and pain that come from judging others hastily and without love can be lasting and severe. As Morrison stated, "We must look beyond the superficial stereotyping which influences too much of our thinking about the worth of those who seem on the surface to be different than we are. We must learn to look at others through the eyes of love, not as strangers and foreigners, but as individuals, fellow children of God, of one blood with us."

I quote this talk not only in relation to race, but also gender, sexual orientation, political persuasion, religious affiliation, and the many other areas in which we differ from one another. We have all judged too hastily and found ourselves proven wrong. We have all been wrongfully judged. If only we could each strive to view each other with "eyes of love" we would find ourselves in a better place (both without and within).

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