Dear Hate,

I saw you on television yesterday morning. I woke up to your work. To the blood, the screams, the deaths. I saw how you once again reigned terror on an occasion that should have been full of love and light. Concerts and festivals are escapes for us, a chance to sing our troubles away, yet you came guns blazing and brought fear into our lives.

You’ve been in the news a lot lately—stabbings in Europe, explosions around the world, school kids losing their lives. You’ve been a constant presence in our world, and this can’t keep happening.

Dear Hate, it’s time to understand that you won’t ever win, for every act of unimaginable terror you reign down, this world will respond with kindness and strength. John Lennon said over 50 years ago, “You may say I’m a dreamer but I’m not the only one.” He was right, and his words stand just as true today. There are more people who believe in the power of spreading the light, of stomping out the darkness.

Dear Hate, you have wounded us. You have broken our hearts, but not our spirits. You may have murdered the most people in American history. Today, even I felt your power, for before the sadness sunk in, you arrived in the form of hate for the man who could kill so many, hate for the culture we are living in, hate that this is becoming more and more normal.

But guess what? I refuse to allow myself to give in to you. Instead, I let myself feel the sorrow and fear, and then I rose with only love and light.

Dear Hate, you need to know that you will never win, for I will triumph. I will conquer all.

We will respond to your hate by gathering to remember those we lost. We will donate blood, money, and our time to the survivors. We will march against you, united in the desire for peace.

Dear Hate, you are powerful, and Sunday night, you definitely made your presence known. But so did I. In the quiet, between the gunfire raining down, I was there. I was there in the husband who shielded his wife, in the stranger who ran back into the line of fire to save those hedidn’t know. I was there in the firefighters and EMS, in the doctors and nurses, in the singers and artists. I battled you that night, and will continue to do so. It will happen each and every time you try and bring your terror down.

Dear Hate, you may have caused us to cry, to feel fear, but you also reminded us to unite, to refuse to allow you to win. It’s because of you, and events like Sunday night, that we are reminded to live in the moment, in the now.

Dear Hate, we’ve seen what you can do. Now it’s time to see what we are capable of—the power that we have once we together choose me over you.

I’ve showed my strength and will continue to do so, long after your fire has been blown out. You can’t win—we won’t let you. So hang up your hat and accept defeat.

Sincerely,

Love

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