Joy Hoffman: Thoughts on Emanuel AME Church Tragedy

I have been thinking about the horror of what happened in Charleston, and the grace of the families. I understand that hate, instilled, nurtured, brought a man (or man child) to commit this action. I have watched (repeatedly) the families' response.

I have concluded, and I hope some of you will agree, or think about this, the following:

  1. The unbridled hatred of self. Can you imagine the self hatred in the shooter's family? That you would wish to twist, cramp and ultimately destroy another human being and leave no physical mark?
  2. Envy. One of the most base emotions, the destroyer of people, animals, and most hope. If you allow it in, through thought, alcohol or drugs will feed a sense of judgment of others, a belief in your own perfection, and the belief that you are entitled to whatever you think you should have--that you deserve it.
  3. Pride. From little things like soda to huge things like life, being proud inhibits your ability to be kind, graceful, thoughtful and active. Pride, at the end of the day, is a cancer that grows within you and will destroy you.
  4. Superiority. Really? No one is better than anyone else. Get over it. The most judgmental people I know are some of the saddest.
  5. Anger. The outside manifestation of hate. And I don't mean hating broccoli. Anger leads to bitterness and that is the poison of the soul. It repels people, it splashes and stains your relationships, friendships, associations and your life. It will cost you your family, friends, acquaintances, opportunities and life experiences. No constructive changes have been made in a society founded, based or propelled by hate.
  6. Jealousy. If you are accusing people of something, it is usually what you are doing, or thinking.
  7. Kindness and Grace are the only answers to 5 and 6. Change comes when we are accepting of the partnerships and friendships that are offered to us. Just because it doesn't look, speak and answer like you, does not mean it is not worthy. We are all worthy.

Please join me in changing the world, one step at a time

Joy Hoffman, Chairperson, Arapahoe Country Republican Party