A World Without Racism is Loving
Love - Your Bully Needs It
Love is greater than hate. Surely we have all heard that at some point in our lives. Did you know that Brooks Gibbs, who is a good friend of The Hope Line organization, actually wrote a book with that title? He was the victim of bullying and was also a bully himself, in fact. In this book, he discusses alternative responses to bullies, and what he suggests is that those who hurt you are actually those who need love the most. So in a way, he is ultimately suggesting to love the bully, and for you to turn the hate into care. On page 32 of this book, Gibbs writes that loving them “reverses the cycle of hate, breaks the back of bullying and launches us into a new cycle of life.” Oftentimes a bully part-takes in the act when he or she is a victim of hate themselves, and as a reaction, they try to assert hateful power over someone else. Due to this, by choosing to react with love you can instead potentially be the start of a new cycle and break this pattern of hatred.
The first thing that Gibbs suggests doing is to change your thought patterns. What he means by this is that instead of starting to think negatively about the person who hurt you and dwelling on the situation and making it a bigger issue than it absolutely needs to be with hateful thoughts associated with it, you can reform your thoughts into more positive ones by taking the situation and making it a learning opportunity, and by also seeing what good you can extract out of the situation.
The second thing that Gibbs suggests is to change your actions. By this, it means to choose to not participate in the drama. As Matthew Kelly put it “love is a choice, love is an action of will, you can choose to love.” When you step away from the drama you illustrate your maturity and the fact that you have respect and can act with dignity. This will take the bully aback.
The third suggestion Gibbs makes is to change your feelings. The way humankind is wired, our feelings follow our thoughts, so by changing your thoughts your feelings will change as well. By choosing to guide your thoughts into a more positive sphere, your feelings will become more positive as well. On page 44 of his book, Gibbs states that “Love will open your eyes. You will gain the ability to see past their masks of hate and see a heart full of hurt.” Love will give you the insight to have compassion and empathy. You can learn to forgive the person and be set free from the hurt.