Hate exists in this world. We have all felt it, and sadly, we have most likely all perpetuated it at some point in some capacity. With the anniversary of 9/11, a true testament to the powerfully destructive force that is hate, upon us once more, it feels like a most poignant time to reflect upon hate and the intolerance and fear it facilitates, and conversely, and much more importantly, to reflect on its counter, love, and the tolerance and compassion it facilitates.
Our library shelves are littered with books telling stories steeped in hate. And reading them serves us. We do not need firsthand experience to learn lessons. When we read, we step into another world, we feel that world and when we leave it, we take with us the lessons and knowledge we gained while in it and can apply them to our own worlds.
Hate is run amok on the other side of our planet presently, driven by the same fear laden intolerance that exploded the Twin Towers here 17 year ago. Families torn apart, people brutally raped and murdered, lives destroyed. The three following books bring you into that world. We encourage you to be brave and go there from the safety of your own mind.
A Cave in the Clouds: A Young Woman’s Escape from ISIS by Badeeah Hassan AhmedA Land of Permanent Goodbyes by Atia Abawi
Refugee by Alan Gratz
We then challenge you to come back, not in despair, not in dissolution of humanity, but with a knowing that there is something you can do. You can love. Love yourself first. Treat yourself with kindness and respect. Nurture your mind, body and soul. Then extend that love outward to your fellow humans, knowing that just as you are not perfect, but you love yourself anyways, they are not perfect, and you love them anyways.