I have just officially launched a new business... and when I say 'just' I mean as of 2 weeks ago. The bulk of my promotion is done online, with most of the interaction generated via my Facebook page. Yesterday I received my first 'hate' comment.... with which someone concurred by clicking the 'like' button.
The post stopped me in my tracks and was written IN ALL CAPS WITH LOTS OF EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!!!!!!!!!! It was only two sentences long, and came from a teen-early 20's girl who seemingly misconstrued the nature and purpose of my business.... but it still rattled me.
I went to her Facebook page to learn more about her with the idea of leaving a loving and explanatory response, but no information was available to the public and her settings do not allow messages from strangers. I then determined that perhaps was just as well, as one seldom makes much headway when the other party is clearly upset and potentially irrational or unreasonable.
So what is one to do when met with anonymous meanness? Lash out in retaliation? Come up with juicier jabs that will really put that person in their place? Whenever I am made aware of instances of senseless hate, I tend to reflect on the story a few years back about and Amish community where a fellow went on a shooting spree and then took his own life. What was so remarkable was the way the Amish who had lost children in the attack treated the perpetrator's parents. They did not threaten or even lambast them. Instead they showed up on their doorstep that very night and embraced them in loving forgiveness. I am starting to tear up just typing about it!
That lesson has meant more to me than just about any other I have learned in life -- for it was love in action, immediate unconditional love, that refused to bow down to hate. I have no idea what I would do if confronted with the same sort of nightmare, but I do know that ever since hearing that story I have understood much more about the power of love and how it is alive and well in our world today. I am grateful to all who inspire with acts of courageous unflagging love. Bless you all.