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Daily Connect: Loving Your Enemy?

Leroy Smith, South Carolina

Director of SCPS Leroy Smith helps a member of the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan at a July 18th rally in Columbia, South Carolina.  Photo by @robgodfrey via Twitter. 

Director Leroy Smith put his arm around the older man and helped him up the stairs after noticing the older man was struggling on the hot day.  This photo was taken by an assistant to South Carolina's governor and quickly went viral.  Mr. Smith didn't know he was photographed, and when the New York Times later asked him the reason he thought it was so popular, he said, "Love."

“I think that’s the greatest thing in the world — love,” said the burly, soft-spoken trooper, who is just shy of 50. “And that’s why so many people were moved by it.”

Love doesn't mean ignoring bad behavior, agreeing with unkindness, or saying okay to injustice.  It simply means to sincerely wish for another person to have the causes and conditions of happiness, whether you like them or not.  It's an acknowledgment that even our enemies are like us; wanting to be happy, and not wanting to suffer.  And, through actions like those of Director Smith, we're reminded of love's power and that hatreds never cease through hatred in this world; through love alone they cease.

May all beings everywhere be safe, be happy, be healthy, and live with ease!

Join us in working with both your friends and your enemies by practicing lovingkindness meditation in August for our 3rd Annual Metta Month!


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