AIDS awarness day is not about pretending to be tolerant and cool and showing it off with a red ribbon. The 1st of December really isn’t about tolerance. It’s about acceptance. And it’s not about pity, which is fear. It’s about compassion, which is love. And love is love. And it isn’t the selfish kind of love we have all mastered long ago. It’s the unconditional love. The only Love there is. The love that doesn’t judge and never asks for anything in return. The love that just is.
So instead of wearing a red ribbon today just because everyone else is sporting it, be rather honest with yourself. How do you really feel about HIV/AIDS? Do you feel anything at all? Pity? Disgust? Fear? Probably. Love and compassion? Could be, as long as those infected are in Africa and in Ukranian brothels and at gay parties. Far, far away in a world that has nothing to do with the world of your own.
Just feel in your heart of hearts that diseases don’t define us. You might have high cholesterol, he might be HIV+ and I have Lyme. But we’re all the same in that we all wish to be happy and to love and be loved. Those who are HIV+ are no exceptions. And the stigma with the disease is so great that it’s more often than not harder to bear than the disease itself. A HIV+ person wants to give you a hug and you take a step back to avoid it. They extend their hand to shake hands with you and you don’t extend yours in return. At dinner they pass you a glass, a fork, a bowl and you pretend not to see. This is their day-to-day life and it isn’t easy and it isn’t necessary to make them suffer like this.
I’m sending my blessings with lots of loving-kindness today and many other a day to those infected. I simply hold them all in my heart and say these words with the strong intent to make their lives easier and happier:
May you be well.
May you be happy and peaceful.
May you be free from all pain and suffering.
May you be filled with loving-kindness.