Random Acts of Kindness Triumph Over Hate

lgbt rights

Don’t choke on your Skittles. I’d like to name the person who recently shared that off-color (pun intended) prose with me, but I won’t: Because that would give a bully credibility.

By now you know that marriage equality is for all in the United States of America.

It was not always this way. In a piece for Harvard Magazine, Michael Klarman wrote, “Fifty years ago, every state criminalized homosexual sex, and even the American Civil Liberties Union did not object. The federal government would not hire people who were openly gay or permit them to serve in the military. Police routinely raided gay bars. Only a handful of gay-rights organizations existed, and their membership was sparse. Most Americans would have considered the idea of same-sex marriage facetious.”

ducks in a row
These guys crossed my path on random acts of kindness day.

I was recently bashed. For being me. For being granted equality. In the United States. In 2015.

No matter what your stance is on the issue of marriage equality, no one has the right to verbally or physically harass or demean another human being, especially without provocation.

0asCbEt

I coined and trademarked the phrase, “my heart beats dog®” because, well, it does. I realize that not everyone who has a dog is a good person. Yet, I try…I try to educate. To anger someone littlewon’t teach anything. To tell someone “off” won’t get my point across. But to teach them and hope that some shred of human decency does exist and they may learn….well, that’s why I blog. To educate and to pass on what I learn to today’s modern dog parents.

Some folks simply are living with hate in their hearts. It’s become easier over the years to rise above such hatred and negativity. Spending my limited time on earth giving any thought to them gives them power. And that isn’t what I want as a part of my life: Giving power over to those who harm.

What Happened?

Marriage equality passed. I was unfriended three times on Facebook within a matter of three days and told why by two of those people. Granted, these are not people with whom I would necessarily hang out, have lunch, or talk dogs. Wait, I did all that with two of these people. They have dogs. And they have a mean streak. If they are reading this, they know who they are. And if you have hurt someone by no fault of their own, but simply because you don’t agree with marriage equality: Then this post is dedicated to you, too.

love
My forever and a day.

Retaliation

One thing that has entered my heart over the years is a sense of not wasting my time on those who do not deserve it. Do I still get hurt? Of course, I’m a human being. Some people, however, have opinions that either:

  1. Scare me
  2. Are harmful to others
  3. Both of the above

rainbow paws

I feel like someone has to combat the negative energy those people put out in the universe. So last week, I had a random act of kindness day. I decided I would do this not only to rise above hate, but to give myself a feel-good day for any and no reason. I had no idea what I would do, but I wanted to make people smile. Here are some of the things I did (and I share them in case you need some motivation and/or want to get started on a kind deed or two of your own):

  • Tipped the girl who served me a soft pretzel and slush at Target: She can’t accept tips she told me, but I tried.
  • Talked at length with a 5-year-old girl about my dog-themed purse and showed her the “cool” accessories inside.
  • Visited a local farm and bought feed for kids to give the ducks and goats
  • Took my wife to the mall and gave her a gift certificate for her favorite makeup
  • Visited PetSmart and spent some time in the reptile section and talked to a mom about why her pleading son should be allowed to get a lizard and how they make good pets.
  • Complemented the waitress who took my take-out order just because
  • Donated to a dog rescue group that I know could use the money: they are closed to intakes
  • Went into a boost group on Facebook and pinned everyone’s pins for no reason other than to be kind
  • Put my phone away for most of the evening and spent extra long play sessions with my dog
  • Paid off my credit card and got the balance down to zero (yay, gift to myself)

caring for reptiles

reptile care
They are cute, these little Chinese water dragons.

I cannot begin to tell you the weightlessness I felt in my heart. I actually felt a sense of “high” and I didn’t want to come down: Corny, I know: But true.

I shared some of my sorrow in being treated so terribly, especially by people who put their nastiness in writing, with a co-worker, who shared this with me:

good quote

I cannot change the way people think. I can try to inspire and teach.

I cannot be associated with negativity, lying, or harmful people. I can put my efforts towards those with a big heart and open mind.

I cannot make someone change their mind who is set in their ways. I can lobby for rights and the rights of those who have been put down for way too long.

I worship from the gospel according to Ferdinand. His way is my light. Not sure who that is? Click here. His message is worth knowing. 

No gospel, tenet, or religious belief should interfere with equality.

The book I follow is one of kindness and in the eyes of the God and the dog I worship, I’d say that puts me miles ahead of the haters. Miles and miles.

Feeling inspired? Pay it forward: No matter how small. Do something nice for someone before the day is over. I’d love to hear what you did in the comments below.

dog church
All dogs welcomed: No dogmas allowed.

Comments

  1. You gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo girlfriend!!!!!
    I love how you took a negative and turned it into MANY positives!!!!!
    I’m not even gay and I lost one “friend” (trust me, they were NO friend), over my posting on facebook that I am an ally, so if you lost 3 and I lost 1, NOT being gay, that’s pretty darned good!!! 😉
    Let them go, they aren’t worth it. True friends will always be around, they may not communicate daily, but they are ALWAYS there when needed, which I ALWAYS am for you!
    What have I done so far today as my “random act of kindness?”
    Well, I was sending husband to get some things at the store, gave him my credit card (operative word being “MY”) and at first told him he couldn’t use the card for his hair appt. I hadn’t even read this post yet, and as soon as I uttered those words I felt bad. He was running errands for ME….I was being crappy…soooo…..I told him to ignore what I had said and of course he could use the card for his hair appt (and I SWEAR I did NOT read this post first!)
    The other thing I have done so far, I have shared THIS marvelous post!
    Sending much love, today and always!!

    • You are such a special person, Caren. I cannot begin to express how much your words mean to me. And how sweet what you did for Lenny!!! Love to you always. Miss seeing you.

  2. I’m sorry you were attacked especially by people you considered friends. I so respect how you addressed this and took the high road, turned an act of hate into multiple acts of kindness. Also, respect that you didn’t name them – I admit, I would have been tempted to call them out by name.

  3. You travel the high road, these haters travel a rocky dirt road. They wil never change because they believe they are always right.

    Proud to call you and Darlene as friends. Hugs

  4. I love this article. Way toooooo many hateful, spiteful people out there in the world. You truly did make a difference in light of it all. You continue to make a difference each day, too, Carol. I can’t imagine how anyone feels inequality should be acceptable.

  5. We say “you can fix stupid” Mom adds “and you can’t legally run it over with your car” MOL

    Honestly, mom says what people believe and who they love are their own business. But that gives NO ONE an excuse to abuse or humiliate others. We love hearing about your random act of kindness day. You never know the impact it is going to have on that other person….and how it will spread. Good for you. And screw the others….it isn’t about them

  6. YOU are an inspiration my friend <3 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have been going thru some struggles of a different kind recently and your words gave me a new light in my heart . As you said I cannot give my energy to that negativity and keep that in my heart ! I am so sorry people were cruel to you ! I want to reiterate how very joyous I am about the recent marriage equality !! I cried when I saw that happened because I knew in my heart the many friends I have would finally be able to celebrate their love legally ! I am sending a rainbow of joy !!!! No choking allowed 🙂

    • Woooo Hooo to no choking lol I am so glad this helped – and no matter the struggle you have to hold that pretty head high and not let negativity bring you down. Easier said than done, I know. But day by day you can do it – and you have a friend in me 😉

  7. Love you three!!! And, I am so proud and fortunate to have you in my life as dear friends.
    Stay strong !!!

  8. It’s a shame people are still so closed-minded in 2015. That boggles my mind.

    I would no more judge someone based on religion/political party/sexual orientation than I would cut my hand off! It’s completely unacceptable! Just because it’s different than one’s own doesn’t make it bad or wrong.

    I love how you turned that negative into a positive. Good for you!

  9. “Live and let live”. If you cannot say anything nice, don’t say anything at all. I have been through enough grief and stress in the past year, not to mention two heart attacks, that I am trying not to sweat the small stuff or things I cannot control or change. Haters are always going to hate and I can’t change that. Life is too short to worry about them. My seven rescued dogs need me. I am trying to use my energy for them and my cocker rescue work.

    • That is so beautiful, Becky – and you are right – the dogs needs us. Keep up the fantastic work. And give those dogs a tummy rub from us.

  10. As a Christian I have been admonished to “love one another because love is of God”. It’s God’s place to judge so until I’m perfect (not happening soon) I’ll leave that to Him. I’m a straight white female who prefers to expend energy hating those who harm animals and children. I may not understand your lifestyle but I can see your heart and it’s good. A lot of Christians dropped the ball on this one so I beg forgiveness on God’s behalf.

    Would I love Kirby any less if he were gay or a Transgender or in an interracial relationship? Of course not! He’s just a dog and we are all just humans. Love is the bottom line. There’s too much pain in this world so I say if someone is happy, let them be happy ♡

    • I so appreciate the kind offering. I do want to clarify the usage of the word lifestyle. A lifestyle is being a runner or loving to craft or having a dog-loving lifestyle. Being gay or a lesbian is not a lifestyle. Your intentions are kind and are appreciated, so I just want to be clear: Thank you.

      I want to educate so when lifestyle is used in conjunction with being LGBTQ, I share a favorite piece of prose. “What is a “gay lifestyle”? The manner in which LGBT people live their lives is as varied as the manner in which heterosexual people live theirs. GLADD also shares my favorite response to the lifestyle comment, “There is no single lesbian, gay or bisexual lifestyle. Lesbians, gay men and bisexuals are diverse in the ways they lead their lives. The phrase “gay lifestyle” is used to denigrate lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals suggesting that their orientation is a choice and therefore can and should be “cured”

      I know that isn’t what you meant, but I always educate when I see that term used with regard to LGBTQ.

      Love is the bottom line. You are so right. Oh and I was raised Catholic – I prefer to be spiritual and believe and worship a God who loves.

      Tummy rubs to Kirby. 😉

      • Oops I didn’t know I was using the wrong terminology so thank you for correcting me since I wouldn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings in the future. I believe we are born the way we are and God loves us period. Apparently you and I are living the same dog crazy lifestyle – I never want to be cured!

  11. There is a Facebook group, Love for Lisa C Kerner for people to donate to help Lisa since she has been out of work to be with her Mom during the last weeks and months of her life and now to settle her Mom’s affairs. My random act of kindness is I sent a small donation to Lisa.

  12. Claire speaking : I got some stupid comments when I turned my FB profile into rainbow colors to honor my LGBT friends, and especially those who live in the US and were celebrating marriage equality for all in the US. I don’t care. I love the way you turn negative stuff into positive acts. You rock, Carol !

    • That is so sad for people with such hate. Very sad for them but as always, #lovewins and it always will. Pooches gracias from the states all the way to the Alps, Claire <3

  13. That’s awesome that such negativity inspired you to rise above the hate and have a day of good! I just will never understand why it matters so much to some people what the sexual preference of another person is. If you were friends with the person before you found out they were gay or lesbian, why would you stop being friends with them when you found out about this small and irrelevant piece of information?

  14. These days, people really need to stop putting their opinions on everyone else. They also need to get a thicker skin and just deal with what is going on or move on. No one is forced to engage in issues unless you are a politician or judge. People make us nuts! Do what you want to do as long as no one is harmed and it is your own business, simple as that. People have nothing better to do than create controversy!

  15. Sorry that you experienced that. I have to admit I unfriended someone that night who I saw saying horrible things – a person who claims to be a Christian. I just don’t want to be around hateful people. I won’t tolerate being friends with them IRL, so I thought to myself, why would I continue to be “friends” with him online? Other than him, I was very happy with how much LOVE I saw in my Facebook feed that day. (I’m hope that amongst the few haters you also saw lots of LOVE.) If anyone unfriended me for putting the rainbow ‘screen’ over my profile pic, I didn’t realize it. It makes me sad how people can be so hateful about love. It’s LOVE, people. That’s a good thing. It’s what the world needs now and all that! Kudos to you for turning the negative into multiple positives. You rock!

  16. TW always gives people coupons in Dunkin Donuts and told them about the special offer that DD didn’t publicize. We also gave a local TNR 100 lbs of litter and some treats for TW’s birthday Monday. Haters gonna hate but I don’t like it when they hurt my friends.

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