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“There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.” Henry David Thoreau once said this about humanity and our tendency to feed the very tree of injustice we love to rage against it. Well, for every thousand hacking at the branches of evil, there are ten thousand blowing at our candles with their unasked for advice and their not so benevolent intentions. Instead of accepting each other as we are, too many of us make it our aim to change the light of others and make them conform to our image.
Perhaps peace on earth can be attained the minute we stop trying to change the others and instead just focus on ourselves. But it much easier to look outward and think we can be the next messiah than have the humility to fix the brokenness within our souls. Don’t think I don’t acknowledge my own contribution to these traits of high mindedness I’m speaking of—I too have been and continue to be a candle blower on one too many occasions. I can rationalize unleashing hurricanes to meet the gales some like to blow my way, but at the end of the day meeting force with force is the height of foolishness. Moreover, I have a website dedicated to reaching people and doing my part to reinvent the world. We all struggle in this journey of life to know our limitations and to not try to act like God towards others.
But there is another category of candle blowers that have it at their core to be malicious with their intentions. Instead of trying to change the light of others, there are utterly broken souls who make it their objective to kneecap others and snuff their lights all together—they are torpedoes who love to sink people into the abyss. The more benign form of blowing at candles is excusable in a way, it is almost natural for people to be the adviser and helper of others. Not too many want to walk hand in hand with people and be equal to others; our ego strives to be superior and prove we are the better by “helping” others. But then there are those who prove their superiority by destroying the happiness of others and burying them in the prison of self-doubt and remorse.
We call them “haters”, people who thrive by sucking the soul and spirits of others. Except they are not thriving at all; as they continue deviously blowing at the candles of others, they are enveloping themselves in a cocoon of bitterness and animus. There is a cost to being a candle blower; in time those who infuse the universe with antipathy and enmity get done in by their own negative energies. No man who shines by throwing flames at their fellow men and women is truly happy. It is, after all, their own brokenness that makes them want to hobble others. Instead of being mad at “haters, we should actually hug them because they are hurting children who are throwing temper-tantrums when they attack others.
Ah but there goes the rub! How are we supposed to love those who wake up daily trying to rob us of our joys. We are human after all—we bleed and we hurt—so when someone draws blood and induces agony in our hearts, it is only natural to want to lash back. But we should think twice before doing so; those who exude negativity love it when we become negative too. We give our hands to those who gnaw at our fingers the minute we decide to clench our fist and swing back. The way to defeat hate is to be love, there is no profit to be made by fighting hatred with hatred. But it’s a bridge too far at times, to give love to those who feed us hate and indifference is almost a superhuman trait. If we can’t love our enemies, let us at least ignore those malicious candle blowers and refuse to give in to their malice.
Look past people who clutch at our spirits and gnash at our souls and look ahead towards the bigger picture. Our time on earth is too short and our lives but a vapor—each minute lost is a time we can never regain. Seriously, avoid even looking at the direction of those who harbor hostility in their hearts and let karma deal with those who blow at the candles of others. Don’t let the judgement of others deter you from your dreams; some love to blow at our candles in order to diminish our hopes—do not let them succeed by acknowledging them. They are only hating on you because you are different and refuse to be mediocre like them.
Most of the time society demands conformity and devalues originality. Those who think different and try to blaze their own trails are time and time again tormented and judged by those who are content with being average. Don’t let anyone blow at your candles; the more light you have, the more you are bound to draw the darkness of others. Always our true light and to not let the antipathy of others subsume us in their darkness. I beseech you, do not listen to candle blowers, every person who has made contributions towards humanity has faced unwanted advise to do something different. Not too many want to drive the car but boy are there endless millions who love to be backseat drivers.
To be honest, there is one sure fire way to know if you are actually succeeding in life. The more you make a difference and the more your light shines, the more you will attract the antipathy of others. Not too long ago, I was in a state of utter hopelessness and despair and in that time not too many people we throwing shade my way—I was mostly ignored and disregarded. It was not until I emerged from the dark hole of depression and people started to see my true light that some started to actively hate on me. Old habits sure do die hard, I realized that I was investing too much of my time paying attention to my haters. Katt Williams once said “you are not doing something right if you don’t have at least 20 haters” and he used comedy to make light of spiteful souls who love to demolish the hopes of others. They hated on Yeshua who did nothing but feed people and love the masses, so if they hated on Him what makes us think we can escape the contempt of others?Keep your light strong and know in the end the more your light shines the more you will attract the ill winds of those who love to blow at your candles. Disregard the “advise” of others who are quick to “help” when in reality their help is a knife covered in a blanket of kindness. Instead, look within yourself and be confident in your abilities and gifts. Then use that gift to shed light to this world not by preaching of light but by being the light. Let the pious candle blowers lecture others, let us choose to be the light and let others be drawn towards the light within us. Be the light, not as in complexion or color but a light of love that is within us. Do not let the fire of others either diminish your light or turn your light into flames. #CandleBlowers
“Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins.” Proverbs 10:12
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Originally from Ethiopia with roots to Atse Tewodros II, Teodrose is a former community organizer whose writing was incorporated into Barack Obama's South Carolina primary victory speech in 2008. He pivoted away from politics and decided to stand for collective justice after experiencing the reality of the forgotten masses. His writing defies conventional wisdom and challenges readers to look outside the constraints of labels and ideologies that serve to splinter the people. Teodrose uses his pen to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak truth to power.
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