To Hate or Not to Hate

It’s been a while. No real inspiration lately I suppose. I’ve been pretty disillusioned with the world in general lately and mostly with the political discourse here in the U.S.  It occurs to me that we are living in a time that will be documented in history as one of the more divisive periods no doubt.  There is a fair amount, and when I say fair amount I mean A LOT, of hatred bubbling to the surface and not just between political parties but between races, genders, classes…you name it. Everyone seems to hate someone or something or someone else’s beliefs or ideology or religion or lack thereof.  And if it’s not those things it’s something else.

Talking to a co-working a few weeks back and she said she felt like the election of a black President made all of this hatred worse but I disagree.  Electing a black President was never the problem.  Electing a black President didn’t make the problem worse, all it did was bring an already existing problem to the surface once again.

Anyone who knows me knows how I feel politically and I have plenty of friends on both sides. I’m very opinionated and I don’t mind voicing it.  I realized a long time ago that I won’t change anyone’s mind but it’s okay if I voice how I feel.  Some friends may disagree and we may not understand sometimes, but we certainly don’t hate each other. I guess it’s easier to hate people we don’t know because the truth is, we don’t care about them.  We only care about our own point of view or our own prejudice or our own feelings if we are hating. When we actually care about someone personally we put certain things aside in the name of that relationship.  What I don’t understand is why so many people don’t do that exact same thing with other races or religions or whatever it is they are hating today.

I know it’s ignorance, I know that as sure as I’m sitting here. It’s so much easier to hate when you are not educated enough to understand the differences. I’m not talking formal education here, I’m saying it’s not hard to Google something, research it, find out what it is your hatred is directed at and why. Look at your reasons, are they valid, do they hold water when put up against the truth?   It’s one thing to disagree with something, it’s another thing entirely to smear hatred all over because you think you know what you are fighting against but don’t have all the facts.  Once educated about it, regardless of what it is, you may still disagree but I would bet my last ten that you no longer hate.

If there’s one thing I learned in all my years of therapy after my divorce it’s that it all comes down to your own stuff.  Everything you are feeling, every circumstance you find yourself in, every up, down, sideways situation…all of it. You can blame, blame, blame until you’re blue in the face but the fact is we were born with free will. We make our own choices and we have to live with them. Not to say that some circumstances are within our power…floods, fire, random mass shootings…there are plenty of situations that people wouldn’t have put themselves in given the choice. But we do have the power to choose how we react, or don’t react to them.

My thought is this:  We as a whole should be reacting with more compassion, more acceptance, more tolerance, more understanding, more education, more empathy to the things that are happening in our world right now.  The dividing lines are so stark and blatant that it’s shocking on a daily basis.  We don’t have to agree to be able to see the destruction we are causing.

Simple I know and I know I’m not the only one who feels this way. There are so many out there who can relate.  While I do believe that we are witnessing a defining time in our history, I also believe that we can be the difference for future generations by our behavior, by our actions and by our words. Choose carefully.

Stop the hatred.

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