With everything that is happening in the world right, I asked my sister what I should be writing about and she replied, “something that really matters”. So this week I am going to write about what’s on my heart.

With my entire being, I believe in justice, peace, and equality. I believe that every human, regardless of their skin color or background, deserves these basic rights and that love is only the pathway to get there.

Martin Luther Kings’ quote explains it perfectly, “Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into a friend.”

Right now there is so much hate, discrimination, and defensiveness that love can’t seem to find it’s way into the equation. When love is the answer.

Love is the one thing that we as human beings crave from the moment we are born. We want to be and feel loved our entire lives and we do anything to get it. Though it seems that as we get older it becomes harder to attain and give, yet when we were children we gave and received love freely and easily.

Somewhere along the way, we started to learn through messaging or through circumstance, that love isn’t always unconditional. There comes a time when you have to look, act, and be a certain way to receive or be loved.

When we were children, we were taught to share, say please, and thank you, be nice to your friends, say your sorry, and don’t be “fresh”. These were the beginning teachings of being kind, fair, and respectful humans.

Then when does it change? When do those elementary teachings go to the wayside and no longer apply?

At some point, we were taught that one thing is better than another, or that one person is better or worse than another. Then throughout our lives, those beliefs are confirmed by the media, news, or circumstances.

I believe that consciously or not that this has happened to all of us in our lives with our black brothers and sisters. Whether you realize it or not, because they have a different skin color, they were looked at as different. Now, this doesn’t mean that you personally believe this, but our history has taught us that. For centuries white people believed they were different from black people, and our government and world were built around that belief. That difference created a separateness. Slavery, segregation, and equal rights are all indications that our black brothers and sisters had to fight to be looked at as an equal. They are all proof of that belief of separateness.

When I started to learn more about our history from the perspective of the black community, it opened my eyes to what was happening and what had happened and it completely broke my heart. It was like I was seeing it all for the first time.

For my entire life I thought we were all equal, that because of those changes made with the civil rights act, desegregation, and other freedoms were all proof that there was no longer racism or inequality. But once I started to dig deep and educate myself better, I started to see just how wrong I was.

These deaths, this inequality, this violence, and injustice, is stemmed from hate. Hate for a person because of the color of their skin. This underlying belief is attributed to the centuries of believing that there was a separateness just because of our skin color. Centuries of built-up hate.

“Darkness can not drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate can not drive out hate, only love can do that.” -MLK

To bring out the light, and to come back to love, we have to get honest with ourselves. Educate ourselves, listen to their stories, let go of your ego, and let love in. Take yourself out of the equation and look at your brothers and sisters of colors and see what they see. Listen to their struggles, their fears, and hopes for the world. Once you do you will see it’s no different from yours, yet they have been treated so differently because of the color of their skin. When in reality we are no different, we are not separate. We are the same and always have been.

It’s time that we all get honest with our hearts. Let ourselves love unconditionally again. Practice non-judgment and come back to our basic teachings of being kind, fair, respectful and we’ll add in compassionate adults.

Leading with love is leading with courage. It takes honesty, forgiveness, letting go of defensiveness, and continuing to move forward, regardless of what others’ opinions are. People will disagree with you, try to prove you wrong, or will deny that this applies to them. You can’t change people or control them, but you can choose to follow your own heart and listen to what it’s telling you.

When we stop and listen to our hearts, it will always show us the way to go.

We all are the same. We have the same beating hearts. There is no difference in our blood, or thoughts, or fears. We are equal. We are one. We aren’t separate. We must not look or treat each other as separate. We need to re-learn the teachings that were hardwired into us from centuries of separateness. We are brothers and sisters, and we must help, support, and love upon each other with all we got.

We need to get to a place of true equality, peace, and justice and the only pathway there is through leading with love. I believe we can get there if we think, speak, and act in line with loving thoughts. After all, look at how far we have already come. Loving thoughts and actions will bring people together, it will show you the way.

Lead with love my friends, that’s all that matters anyway.