By: Jackie Monroe
The infamous Westboro Baptist Church made a stop at two mid-Michigan locations this week: one on the campus of Michigan State University and one just outside Lansing Eastern High School. I happen to have graduated from both schools.
When students, teachers, administrators, parents and community members learned of Westboro's plan to picket outside of Eastern, about 250 people mobilized a plan fueled by optimism to ensure love triumphed over hate.
The counter-protesters created a "wall of love," separating the school--and the students inside--from the handful of WBC protesters. The effort displayed on Monday proved to not only the students but the Lansing community as a whole that outright hatred and rage is NOT the best way to get your message across. Check out this video clip, posted by the Lansing State Journal:
Optimism was clearly at work here as the counter protesters chose not to stoop to yelling or name calling, but rather to lead by example and show the WBC group and all those watching that just what optimism stamina looks like in the face of adversity:
- CAN vs CANNOT CONTROL: They knew they couldn't necessarily stop the WBC from coming but they could control banding together to separate the students from the protesters.
- CREATIVE ZONE: Instead of stooping to the WBC's level and resorting to simply hurling insults and screams back and forth a protest line, the community group tapped into their creative zone and instead created the Wall of Love to shield the young learners from the hatred being spewed by the WBC.
How will you tap into your optimism stamina in order to produce a positive effect from a negative circumstance?
For more coverage, check out WILX News 10's report on the day's events.