Hatred of Others, Hatred of Self – Not Understanding Others, Not Understanding Self
Posted May 03 2010 12:00am
This past Saturday I drove a couple of hours to visit with some friends. When I awoke on Sunday morning my friends were sitting at the dining room table sipping coffee, leafing through the Sunday paper and watching the news. I bid them a good morning and asked them what was happening in the world. They proceeded to tell me of the attempted car bombing on Times Square in New York. We talked about the limited details that were available at the moment. My friends then went on to hypothesize as to who could be responsible for the attempted bombing. Both of my friends used a racial slur to indicate who they thought was most likely responsible for this attempted bombing. I listened to them for a moment before I explained to them that it is unfair to indict an entire group of people in the way they did. Funny thing is that the racial slur they used was not even the correct racial slur for the people they were trying to identify. There ignorance of different groups and their belief systems and customs was evident. Their hatred and prejudice for people who did not look, behave or believe as they do was evident.
We went on to have a conversation about terrorist and extremists and I pointed out to them that there are extremists all over the world and that there are a number of American extremist in the United States who target Federal buildings and federal employees and other select targets. I helped them to remember the Oklahoma bombing which was perpetrated by an American who looked like they do and had similar religious beliefs as they do and how he belonged to an extremist group. I helped them to remember the man that flew his plane into the office of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) just a few weeks ago. I reminded them of how recently the FBI had raided and arrested a Christian militia that was arming and training people to perform extreme acts.
Extremist/terrorists come in all shapes, sizes, colors and belief systems and as we have seen over and over again you canâ€™t pick out an extremist or a terrorist by their appearance. As a matter of fact many people with extremist beliefs and intentions appear to be pillars of their community. In this politically correct society many extremist have gone underground and on the surface they have learned to play well in the sandbox with others all the while concocting plans to disrupt and/or destroy what they believe is wrong with the world.
The hate that my friends so casually and matter of factly spewed at the breakfast table on Sunday does not make them any different than someone who would have set a bomb off in Times Square. Their brand of hate does not result in extreme acts of violence, however they stand upon a slippery slope where they could easily be persuaded to retaliate in violence in the name of what they consider good. Through their words they could also influence and incite others to take violent actions.
The question is why did my friends react in the way they did. These friends live in a rural area, they are not the victims of crimes by any people, they do not have anyone in their immediate circle of family and friends who have been directly impacted by terrorist or by the people they were blaming for the attempted bombing. They are both children of the 60â€™s, they were teenagers and young adults during the late 60â€™s and the cultural revolution, yet they sounded this weekend very much like Archie Bunker and many of the other Bunker arch typical adults they rebelled against in their youth.
I believe their prejudice and hatred is fueled by ignorance and fear. They sit in their comfortable home, money in the bank, food in their pantry and watch the news and like many before them isolate themselves that breeds fear and contempt for who they view as outsiders. Even in todayâ€™s world of endless information and education opportunities they do not take the time to understand other cultures, they donâ€™t take the time to understand other belief systems and they continue to live in ignorance for which there is no excuse. At the same time the cling to their lifestyle and fear that someone is going to take it away from them or do something that might move them out of their comfortable existence and force them to become engaged in the world in a tacit way. I also believe that much of their hatred is fueled by the fact that they really donâ€™t like or trust themselves and by pointing the finger of hate at others and painting groups of people with a broad brush that they take the light off of themselves, that is they donâ€™t have to look in the mirror and come to understand that they do not love who they are. The hatred they spew is a hatred of self.
When we are full of rage and hate then when we are squeezed that is what will spill forth. When we are full of love and compassion then when squeezed it is love that will come forth for that is all there is.
â€œHateâ€� is a word that destroys us from the inside out. Our hate for others, our prejudice of others is self inflicted poison that hurts all whom it touches most of all the one who holds hate the closest which is our self.
I implore you to educate yourself on that which you donâ€™t understand. I implore you to stop when you hear yourself thinking or saying hateful things about others and to realize that hate begets hate and that only your love can create more love. Bless those with love whom you have taught yourself to hate. Bless yourself with wisdom to understand that many are lost and the things they do are a result of being lost and send them your love. This is what will change the world; this is what will bring about the peace you desire. Know that we are all one and that what you inflict upon another you are inflicting upon yourself. Love yourself enough to not inflict hatred and pain upon your being or any other being along your journey.