Tag Archives: Tolerance

TRECK: The Journey toward Redemptive Love

On Saturday, May 19th, at the wedding for Britain’s Prince Harry and American Actress Meghan Markle, Bishop Michael Curry gave a meaningful and uplifting sermon about the redemptive power of love. I thoroughly enjoyed the sermon and the exuberance with which Bishop Curry gave it. And it has had me reflecting upon the principles of tolerance, respect, empathy, compassion, and kindness – which together make the acronym TRECK. If you are a regular reader of my blog, then you know that I’ve been writing for months about how I believe that this particular set of principles could help set our world right if we all applied them towards all people.

First, Bishop Curry’s sermon reminded me of how I grappled with the concept of love and whether or not to include it in TRECK. In a way, I did include it, because the way that I think of kindness is the same as the way that the Dalai Lama talks about kindness, as in Loving Kindness. I believe that the type of kindness we should give to one another is a type of deep, caring kindness, based upon love.

Second, and most importantly, I believe that through reaching out to one another with tolerance, respect, empathy, compassion, and kindness, we put ourselves on the path to true and abiding love. This is the kind of redemptive love that Curry is promoting. I believe that true love needs to come from somewhere and be based upon something. Tolerance, respect, empathy, compassion, and kindness can all be contained within love, but true love, healthy love, lasting love, cannot exist without these five elements.

Yes, the world needs love. But love needs a foundation. It needs to be built upon something. And that thing is TRECK.

Can there be love without tolerance? Bigotry will surely stand in the way of love. We must first learn to see all people as equal in order to truly love them.

Can there be love without respect? Love without respect is not truly love at all. Love that is built without mutual respect will quickly erode and fall away.

Can there be love without empathy? Certainly we must learn to see through the eyes of another and understand things from their perspective if we are going to be able to love them.

Can there be love without compassion? Caring deeply for the pain of others can sprout into love. But love without deep regard for the suffering of another is hollow and meaningless.

Can there be love without kindness? Cruelty in the name of love is not really love at all. Certainly love must be kind in order to be pure and uplifting. Love and kindness go hand-in-hand.

So, in the end, if there is to be love, then there must be tolerance, respect, empathy, compassion and kindness. We must learn to have global TRECK for all people if we are to love them. So, keep practicing the principles of TRECK and surely we can achieve a truly redemptive and lasting love.

Words Matter: Immigrants Are Not “Animals”

Yesterday, during an immigration roundtable at the White House, President Trump referred to certain undocumented immigrants as “animals.” Specifically, he said, “These aren’t people. These are animals.” He said this in reference to specific undocumented immigrants the government is working to expel from the country whom he feels are particularly bad people. He said, “…you wouldn’t believe how bad these people are.”

My problem with Mr. Trump’s rhetoric is that it is another in a growing list of ways he has disparaged immigrants and people of color since announcing his bid for the presidency. By calling a select group of undocumented immigrants “animals” he is acting to further create an us vs. them mentality in the American people toward undocumented immigrants and people of Latin descent. He is fomenting rage toward a class of people who are already having a hard time being seen as whole, worthy, and just people by some Americans.

I suppose one could argue that the President was merely playing to his base, as many who voted to put him in office probably already hold these views toward many undocumented immigrants. But the fact remains, our President’s rhetoric toward immigrants and people of color is bad and is not improving. For me, this comes down to respect. Our President seems to lack a proper amount of respect for many people in the world – be they American citizens of citizens of South American countries, South African countries, or others.

Once again, I am calling upon President Trump to cultivate within himself respect for all people – regardless of race, skin color, sexual orientation, gender, or religion. It is never too late to change. Mr. Trump needs to learn to empathize with people who are different than himself, just as we all need to develop our ability to do this.

Perhaps President Trump is providing us all with a learning opportunity. We all can learn to grow our tolerance, respect, empathy, compassion, and kindness towards all people, especially those who are different from us. In the end we are all human beings. We all have essentially the same needs and desires.

Immigrants to the United States, regardless of legal status, come here seeking what all human beings desire – safety, security, the basic necessities of life, and the opportunity to become their best expressions of themselves. We are all human. We all desire to be loved, accepted, and respected.

Let’s all work to make this a nation and a world we can be proud of. Let’s all strive to treat one another with tolerance, respect, empathy, compassion, and kindness.