Sometimes as I do my morning hour of exercise, I run monologues inside my head. Those self conversations run from the mundane to the divine.
This morning I was thinking about love and hate. The two most diametrically opposed emotions of humans. I was wondering if these two things have a Universal or spiritual nature, or if love and hate are inventions of the brains of humans. I know that there has certainly been a lot written and spoken about the two in the history of our human existence.
One would think that any human being would prefer love and kindness over hate and cruelty. But, I wonder if that’s the case. Do some people enjoy hate and spreading hatred more than they do love? It seems every time I turn on the TV, or pick up my computer and look at news stories, or look on social media, I find a higher percentage of hate being spread than of love. Love seems to have taken the back seat in our ride through life and let hate have the wheel.
I look at things that have happened, not only recently but throughout the history of mankind. I watched the storming of the American capital building just over three weeks ago, and I wondered……is this love? I have been indirectly called so many names on social media over the past few years because of my political and religious beliefs, and I wonder….is that love? Is that kindness?
I might turn to one of the books that humanity has written as guidelines for their behavior on Earth. The Bible, the Koran, the Torah. In all of these books, you find that love is better than hate. Kindness is better than cruelty. So many people supposedly follow the guidelines of these books, but it’s very hard to tell when you look around you that people are practicing what they read. Even atheists I know sometimes show more compassion for other people than do the followers of these books which are supposed to be the guides for living a good life.
So, what’s the answer? I was raised as a Christian and studied the Bible pretty much all of my life. I still believe in the teachings of Jesus, even though I don’t actively participate in organized religion anymore and probably never will again. I do think back to Matthew 28. where Jesus says that in the signs of his coming ” because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. ” Is love growing cold between humans?
I personally believe that love is the dominant emotion of human beings, and that kindness is the most basic of acts that one human being can show for another. Love is like water. As water flows it always finds a way to go beyond the obstacles that it encounters. If a huge boulder blocks it’s way, it first tries to find the easiest path around it. If it cannot go around it, it builds up behind it until it flows over it. If it cannot flow over it, it breaks up against it until finally the obstacle is worn down and the water finds a way to flow through. Our love for others has to be like this. We must find a way around the obstacles of hate and cruelty, or go over them, or beat up against them until we wear them down and find a way through. If we cannot find a way for love to “conquer all” as the saying goes, then we are lost.
I believe the best way to conquer hate, is to refuse to participate in it. This is the hardest thing to do…for me personally anyway, and probably for most people.
I am indignant when I see hatred and I want to lash out against it, but to do this is to simply become the thing you are fighting against. You become the thing want to lash out against.
So many people have built up their hate for so many things. People hate anything which is different from what they consider to be “normal”. Things which their “books” tell them are bad.
There is hatred for people of other colors, other philosophies, other natures and actions which people consider “normal” What is normal? How is something or someone who is different from you, or who believes differently than you hurting you? Why do we as humans believe we have to force our beliefs on others? Don’t participate in this type of hate.
We have so much to overcome in this day and age. The pandemic and disease of which we are now in the teeth has exacerbated hatred. People are more isolated. They cannot be around those they love the most without risking the health of some of them. Mental health issues have become common. Children are having to go through their days without being able to associate and play with other children. So much bad surrounds us. In this type of situation, we must try to be even more kind and giving than normal. We should turn away from those who try and divide us. We should refuse to give air to the fire of their hatred, and let it burn itself out.
We have a path our of all of these things which are happening that are causing the world to cascade down upon itself, but that path requires sacrifice and patience on our part with the others who surround us. We can beat hate, and become a better society and a better race, if we only choose to take the first step down that path by deciding we will not hate.