It’s become a catchphrase: “When they go low, we go high.” Most people use this to say, “When someone else says or does something that’s ugly (socially, politically), I/we will say/do something positive to counteract it.”
And in theory, this is great.
In practice, though, there’s the matter of motives.
When the positivity comes from a genuine, authentic place, that’s a wonderful thing. When we act from a genuine place of kindness, goodness, and concern, and try to model those things for others, we are putting positivity into the world – and that, indeed, will conquer the darkness. I always believe that “love is louder.”
But there’s something interesting going on here.
I see many people taking a “kill ’em with kindness” approach, which sometimes seems passive-aggressive, non-genuine. For some, it’s a way of saying “I’m better than you” or “Look how virtuous I am.” Whenever I hear that phrase “When they go low, we go high,” I take another look at the attitude behind it – which is often genuine, but sometimes not.
Returning good for evil *is* a virtuous act, if it comes from a genuine place. But if there’s a spirit of retaliation behind it, we just may be putting more negativity into the world.
Today I’m working on that “Love thy neighbor” thing.