By Mike T. Smith
My favorite Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quote is “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” If you take a second and let those words soak in it’s not only powerful, it’s also liberating.
I’m not one of those feel good people that says to always think positive and ignore the negative things in life. So I understand that sometimes it’s hard to take the path of love. After all the road to hate is much wider, shorter and there is more people to keep you company. Whereas the road to love is narrow and more difficult to stay on that route, especially with so much opposition constantly trying to veer you off course. But it’s worth the effort.
We all deal with difficult times that are often put on us by difficult people. When I was a young child and into my teens I was bullied to the point where I hated life. I hated everything about it. I hated the bullies who made me feel so little about myself. Worst of all I hated myself because I believed everything they did to me was somehow my fault. That hate consumed everything in my life.
I thought I was getting even with the bullies by holding onto these negative feelings towards them, but the truth is I was only hurting myself. I had to learn to love my bullies. That didn’t mean I had to invite them to a picnic in the park.
That meant that I learned to love them despite how they made me feel. But most important of all, I had to take the path of love to save myself. Loving my bullies meant forgiving them even though they had made my life miserable.
They did bring some good into my life though. I found out who my true friends were. I developed a thickerskin. I learned to deal with adversity. I even used those experiences to write a book and it was the reason I decided to make today’s youth my primary focus in my motivational and inspirational speeches. There is no greater feeling than a student walking up to me after a speech and telling me that I gave them something they didn’t have before….hope.
None of this would have happened if I had held onto the burden of hate. Which path will you take? Mike T. Smith is a youth motivational speaker that speaks to middle schools and high schools. To book Mike for your school assembly visit http://miketsmith.net/contactmike
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