Choose Love, Over Hate
Choose Love it changes everything. My name is Mr.Chichester (Lavall Chichester) I am the Global SVP of Search and Content Marketing at MullenLowe Group. I am an entrepreneur, love to dance, am a 2nd degree black belt (in Hapkido), a bare knuckle Karate fighter, a certified personal trainer (N.A.S.M) and all around spreader of love, hope and inspiration. I believe that as humans we are all connected. We are each a tiny cell that makes up a body that is larger than ourselves. This is why when we do good for others we actually really help ourselves. I believe that social media and the internet is a reflection of this connection. So I created SpreadLove.org to give people a tool to leverage this connection and help heal the world. I chose love over hate a long time ago.
Choosing Love, after Getting Stabbed
(My back two days after I got stabbed. I used to look at this picture with hatred. Now I look at it with love. )
I grew up in Brooklyn where very early in my life I made the decision to choose to spread love over hate and save a life over taking one. I was in high school (16yrs old) when I got stabbed twice in the back during a street fight by the cousin of one of old my best friends. I was not a gangster or anything like that I just loved to fight and would not back down from one. I also was a genuine nice guy, was at the top of my classes and so my friends who were gangsters always respected me. After getting stabbed the immediate response from my more nefarious friends was revenge but not in the eye for an eye kind of way, but more like two stab wounds for your life kind of thing. I had every right to want to take this guys life because getting stabbed was the easy part.
On the way to the hospital I almost drown in my own blood in the ambulance because I had to lay on my stomach and the blood flowed off my back into my air mask and filled it up. To put the blood loss into perspective before I got in the ambulance I took my shoe off and pour blood out of it because the blood was leaking down my back, it filled up my sneakers and made it really hard to walk. In the ambulance my hands were trapped and the EMS workers were occupied so no one noticed that I was about to drown in my own blood. I used an insane amount of will power to stop from passing out from lack of blood and drowning in the pool that filled the mask. Once in the hospital I felt like a science experiment because a room full of nursing students (mostly females) watched a very rough doctor, stitch a very naked me, back together.
The doctor had no compassion and took no sympathy for my situation stating to the room of students, “You have to let them know who is boss because you are saving their life.” as he used his elbow on my neck to hold me down and mercilessly jabbed a needle in my fresh wounds to numb the area before stitching began. That statement, the fact that the doctor handled me like a pig on a science table and that my old best friends who I had previously trusted with my life was the reason I got stabbed, built in me enough hatred, trust issues, and pain to want to kill the guy who put me in that situation. In fact during the six hours I spent waiting tangled in IV wires in the hospital to see if my lung was punctured all I could think about was kill, kill, kill, murder, murder, murder as a chorus to a Nas song once poetically put it. I also had some very willing and able people waiting for my word to do the job.
Choose Love to be a Catalyst for Change
I probably would be in jail right now if it was not for a man named John Duda who decided to mediate the situation because he cared and love me and my old best friend. He interjected and took the time to have us talk things out and remind me that the choices I made now would effect me for the rest of my life. He made me realize that if I choose love and did not go down the route of hate and violence that I had a chance to make a real difference in the world. So that day I choose love and told my wolves to not take revenge and that I would wear these scars on my back as a reminder that although the past may be painful, hateful and traumatic; it is behind me so I can choose to let love be my present and future and not let hate drag me down. Don’t get me wrong I did not become a saint after I got stabbed. I still did and do bad things all the time, I’m only human.When I was younger I proudly represented the third world county of my birth (Guyana) with my knuckles and a stoic poise. I remember being fresh out of the hospital all stitched up and seeing a crew of guys I had an altercation with the week before I got stabbed. These tough guys prowl the trains looking for people to fight. They bumped into me a week before and we had an epic stare down but the thing about bullies is that there not really looking for a real dog fight.
They are looking for a quick win and a victim they can take advantage of. So I was able to take their will to fight away by simply looking them in their eyes with the intent to give em a fight they would never forget. So when I saw them prowling around looking for trouble post stabbing, man I’ve never been so nervous in my life! My only thought was “F#ck that doctor, someone else is going to have to fix my stitches when I’m done folding these guys.” However, as I matured I became more aware that I actually have a choice between how much good and how much bad I do. I then decided that I am going to spend more time doing good than doing bad. I decided that I am going to try my best to enrich people’s lives and leave them better of having met me. Being nice to people took me a very long way. It actually makes you stand out because most people feel like it is a dog eat dog world when in fact it is not. A lone wolf dies because a pack of dogs is stronger than a single dog. Ecosystems that make life possible on this earth are created via symbiotic relationships based off of mutualism. Every Flower needs a Bee and every Bee needs a Flower. Humans need each other in order for this world to work. If you are an ass to people you will soon find that less people want to be in your company and you end up lonely. Have you ever met a Mosquito that you liked? Love begets love the same way hate begets hate. Some really wise people who have lived full lives with powerful legacies wrote this concept down so I’m not making it up. I just decided to take their advice and apply it in life and business. It works! It’s funny when you are nice to people a lot of people get suspicious. They wonder what you are up to but after a while they just can’t help but spread love to you back. This is good though because it makes you stand out from everyone else who is either spreading hate, indifferent, or scheming like a Wolf in Sheep’s clothing. Just like mutualism stands out in a world full of terrible isms (Racism, Sexism, Classism).
Some Lovely Quotes on Helping others
“As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.” ― Mary Anne Radmacher
“Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.” ― Ben Carson
“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ― Winston S. Churchill
“No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” ― Charles Dickens
The Founding of SpreadLove.org
Without the kind words, guidance and the inspiration that John Duda gave me that day, I would have taken part in killing the guy who stabbed me and you better believe that I would have looked him in his eyes as his life dissipated into darkness like the warmth and light of a setting sun. But I would not have my freedom and would have wasted my youth. Even though I have done my share of bad in my life and still have my moments I decided then to dedicate my life to doing good. So I decided I had to find a way to help people become catalysts for change in other peoples lives. There is nothing special about me, I just got love and good advice at a point in my life where I really needed it. Life and death are truly in the tongue because a few words stopped me from killing someone and I know that a simple email or letter of inspiration can and has stopped people from killing themselves. This work is going to change the world. I created SpreadLove.org as a Health and Wellness site that lets people spread love and inspiration via anonymous emails to people who need them and focuses on empowering people to heal and rebuild their minds, body and spirit, so that they can help heal others and help care for our planet. Everything about the site is built with viral economies of scale in mind to best leverage the human connection. For example anyone can take the widget code below and add it to their site giving their website the same functionality as Spreadlove.org. Every email that you send asks the person who receives it to pay the kindness forward and send someone else an email of hope and inspiration.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story, I don’t think I have told anyone the full account so it is very therapeutic to write about it. I would love to hear your stories. Leave them in the comments below and contact me I would love to post your epic tale. I hope that you help me change this world for the better one email at a time. Humans are not Angels we have to earn our wings by doing good work. Sean’s (my brother in Kyokushin) story is epic you should read it. He got shot, the bullet broke his back and the doctors said he would never walk again. But Sean had some other plans… read his story here. Success via Karate.
What’s your (love) story?