Beauty surrounds us, but we usually need to be walking in a garden to know it - Rumi
Last week I spoke of the need to take care when to speak and when to remain silent. What we say is equally important; especially on social media. I was reminded of this in comments I received on my blog “Who is my neighbour” where I said that all lives matter. What I intended to say was that like the Samaritan who went out of his way to help the injured Jew despite the persecution his race had suffered at the hands of the Jews, so are we called to compassion for everyman’s suffering regardless of race, religion or colour. However, the phrase “all lives matter” has unpleasant connotations in America, of which I was not aware. This led to some adverse comments.
One suggested that using the phrase “all lives matter” creates more division and that whilst it is the truth it did not sound to her as if it was spoken with love. She suggests it shows a lack of empathy with those who say Black Lives Matter. Since it expresses a sincere heartfelt reaction the second comment deserves to be heard in full. It reads: ‘It is a given that ALL lives matter, but when that is used as a response to the “Black Lives Matter” movement, it becomes an insult that adds to the injury being perpetuated on Black Americans, simply because we are Black. I don’t know your life experience, but unless you’ve been here, done that and walked in these shoes, I’m not sure that you have the mentality to understand the how and why claiming the banner of “All Lives Matter” in response to the “Black Lives Matter” banner would be polarizing and like throwing gas on an already out of control fire.’
Let me make it clear that I do not claim the banner of All Lives Matter against Black Lives Matter banner. The banner I claim is that of Christ the King which calls me to compassion for all those less fortunate than myself. It calls me to stand up against the evils of injustice, hatred, or persecution wherever they raised their ugly heads.
Sadly, my words offended some readers. If I have offended you then I can only apologize.
I/We need to take to heart the following words:
5 Likewise, the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole body, sets the whole course of one’s life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God’s likeness. 10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be. James 3:5-6 and 9-10.
Peter is a father and a grandfather who has been retired from full time employment for a number of years