Welcome to the Love Your Story podcast.
Today is part 2 of a two-part story - the story of Peter Mutabazi. Peter joins me today, to share the incredible story of his life in Uganda, we are picking up where we left off in part 1. For his full story - please listen to part 1, because today we are going to look at the rest of the story and the other side of the coin. Part 1 is titled: What Kindness Can do. Part 2 is titled: What Hatred Can Do. The reason I am going to take an episode to talk in detail about hate, is because as I was reading Peter’s book “Now I Am Known,” one of the greatest turning points in his life came as he became a witness to the genocide in Rwanda. What he witnessed, what these events taught him, and how they affected the progress of his life.
Tune in for my talk with the author of “Now I am Known.”
“When I first saw the bodies floating down the Kagera River out of Rwanda and into Lake Victoria on the local television station, I knew something horrible was happening in our neighboring country. Every day I watched news reports showing hundreds upon hundreds of mutilated corpes floating down the river. Men. Women, Children. Some had been decapitated. Others wer cut open with other body parts missing. The bodies of children…I cannot speak of what was done to the bodies of the children. Over the course of three months, tens of thousands of bodies piled up in Lake Victoria and washed up on its shore. When the winds came out of the south and east you could not escape the smell of death…”
This is how the chapter “What hate can do” starts.
Peter - Welcome back to the show. We loved hearing the first part of your incredible story a couple weeks ago…
Tune in as we hear the story of bodies floating down the river, the massacre in Rwanda, the ah-ha of how hate was affecting him and where that took him.
“I have seen firsthand the destructive power of hate, but I have also seen the healing power of generosity, acceptance, and love. We all have the opportunity to help others, inspire others, and love others from a sincere heart.”
I think the world is incredibly messy. We are hurt, we hurt others, we love people who have been hurt or are hurting. We want to forgive, we want to know how to help others deal with difficult things like trauma or neglect or hopelessness. It’s all so much. One of the things Peter said in his book was “Hurting people need to be heard. They need to know they are not alone.” And then I was listening to a Ted Talk about addiction and the way we try to punish and ostracize addicts, when research actually shows that people and lab animals don’t turn to drugs or destructive behaviors when they feel connected. The suggestion for healing was not to ostracize the difficult ones, but to let them know you care, even though that may be the most difficult move. At any rate, I believe the more we listen to these real life stories, the more we seek the higher road, the more we understand where hate takes the human heart and the opposite, where caring, forgiveness, empathy and kindness takes the human heart, we can take steps in the direction of light.
There is no quick solution to the struggle to forgive, or to heal from trauma, but there is the choice everyday to choose kindness and love when we can, and to work on the moments where we can’t.
Let’s end with a couple quotes:
Will Smith said, “Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, cause hate in your heart will consume you too.”
Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
May you move toward love, empathy and kindness today, with intention. See you in 2 weeks for the next episode of the LYS Podcast.
To find or contact Peter: