I see so many great quotes of Martin Luther King on social media today, so many that I have quoted so often myself, used in blogs or pondered over and discussed with friends.
In the past year, this quote of his has been very much on my mind and in my heart:
“In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies,
but the silence of our friends” – Martin Luther King Jr.
About a year ago, I wrote about the physical consequences of deep emotional hurt and pain. The physical consequences of the surgery were much easier to deal with than the emotional wounds that caused the surgery in the first place. Since then I have written and spoken with people and in groups about dealing with emotional pain and the physical consequences thereof. The process of healing from the emotional wounds and scars is a slow one with some forward steps, many backward steps but the good thing is that there is healing and some wounds are mere scars now. One of the key steps in the healing process was understanding and accepting the fact that what harmed me the most was not the abuse or hurt that I had suffered at the hands of people I had trusted but the silence of “friends and family” who looked away, did not speak up against the abuse or lies and/or justified their silence by saying that they did not want to interfere.
But what I also experienced was the wonderful and healing effect of friends who stood up and took a clear stand against the lies and the abusive behaviour that I had faced, some who even confronted those who had hurt me without caring that they would lose the “good relations” that they had because they took a stand. I experienced the healing power of friendships with those who understand and stand up for the same values that I have; who believe that Christianity is not only turning the other cheek but also taking a clear stand against abuse of any kind; friends who believe in decluttering their lives of superficial relationships and making space for deep and meaningful ones. I am very blessed and thankful for each and every one of these friends and I hope you know who you are!
So today more than ever, my hope and prayer is that all of us have the courage to speak up against abuse and injustice of any kind; that we don’t look away because we don’t want to interfere or because we have a wrong idea of what it is to be a peacemaker. It is my hope that we not only comment on nice pictures on social media but that we also have the courage to comment or like posts that are about taking a stand against abuse or discrimination of any kind. Let us not complain that social media is an artificial world where it is all about good appearances and not see that we contribute to it when we only post positive posts or remain silent and look away when there posts that dare to be authentic or even “negative”.
May we be the ones to make a positive change and bring healing; may we have the courage to stand up and stand out even if we are the only ones to do so; may we be the friends who speak up and are not silent; and may we inspire others to do the same too.