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images (11)At 43 years old, I have come to the realization that no matter how hard I try to love and live at peace with my fellowman, there is always going to be someone, somewhere who refuses to reciprocate my acts of kindness towards humanity.

I am not so naive of a person to believe that everyone that I cross paths with on this journey through life will want to befriend me. There will be those whom I will be able to identify with as true friends. There will be those who will befriend me just because it is in their nature to be polite and cordial, but the reality of the matter is that we may never be considered “true friends.” And then there are those who will dislike me or even dare I say hate me – just because. It doesn’t have to be a racial or prejudicial issue. It does not have to be because they don’t like the way I look, talk, act, or dress. It does not have to even be about the money I earn. No, they have determined in their finite minds that they will refuse to like me or accept me for who I am, just because.

No matter, for I am fine with all of that. I realize that people are who they are and regardless of how another human treats me, I am forever reminded that our true self our souls purpose is to love all men – Black, White, Brown or Yellow, rich or poor, bound or free – and even those who reject me and blatantly use me. I learned a long time ago that you can’t fight the fires of hatred by continuing to fuel the fire by adding more logs of hatred, but rather you have to learn to continually dowse the fire with kindness and love, and one day even the tiny glowing embers will soon smolder.

I have learned to accept the sweet taste of kind words and accolades, as well as the bitter dregs of negativism and disdainful and disparaging remarks from those who do not like the idea that I will not play into their hand and be their puppet on a string, or play their game by becoming a literal pawn on their proverbial chess board.

I am who I am and I will not today, will not tomorrow, or any other day as long as the Universe continues to allow me to draw breath, bow down and become subservient and apologize to any other human for who I am, what I believe in, or what I stand for. To be loved or hated is a part of mastering this life, and I know that because of my past and present and my response to all things I know that I am well prepared to handle both.

What is your decree?