A Revolutionary Response to Hate

Valarie Kaur is a lawyer and civil rights activist who has worked for nearly 2 decades to make the world more safe and just. In this passionate TED Talk, she proposes a solution that is radical and revolutionary. Fighting hateful actors has led to little change, she admits, and therefore it is time for a different approach.

She calls this approach Revolutionary Love, and it is not simply an airy and ethereal notion that encourages us to overcome the very present dangers of our world with a wish and a kiss. In order to effect true and lasting change, we must overcome the hate and fear that is within ourselves. “We love ourselves when we breathe through the fire of pain and refuse to let it harden into hate,” Kaur tells us.

We must realize that the emotions that stir within us and urge us to fight our perceived enemies are not so dissimilar to the emotions that stir within them and spur them to fight us. In such a feedback loop of fear and aggression, we continue to stoke each other’s ire and to corroborate each other’s sense of oppression and conflict. The answer is to break the cycle, to show the other that we are not the enemy by conveying that we do not see him/her as the enemy.

“Forgiveness is not forgetting,” Kaur teaches, “forgiveness is freedom from hate.”

Watch Kaur's "3 Lessons of Revolutionary Love in a Time of Rage" here, or by clicking on the image above.

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