“Hate”or “Haters” – words I hear being thrown around a lot in today’s world. It’s so often evoked when speaking of people that disagree with someone’s position on an issue, their life style, decisions or point of view.
It is what seems to me to be a potentially dangerous and divisive rhetoric in our country, that is not only paralyzing our government but creating “lines in the sand” all across our country. We’re losing the ability or should I say the “willingness” to have a dialogue and in the end perhaps agree to disagree or more importantly, compromise and reach a solution best for everyone – without any anger, animosity or hatred.
While there are certainly individuals and groups that may behave in a hateful way and spout hateful rhetoric, that should be spoken out against, we must be careful not to include everyone in these generalizations.
It is easy to find these “extremists” (on the right and left, liberal and conservative, religious and secular, across all the “races” and genders or whatever other label you choose to place on someone) on any side of any issue, that use anger, fear and even hatred to rally people to their cause.
On the other hand it seems to me that there are many people that embrace a certain ideology or worldview over another but at the same time are tolerant, open and even loving to those that they “disagree” with. Just because we don’t agree doesn’t mean we have to be enemies or “hate” one another!
Each individual has a point of view based on his or her own personal lifetime of experiences. People are not irrational individuals that wake up one day and simply decide to take up a position on an issue. Society, family, economics, education, religious background, experiences (both good and tragic), heritage and community all play a factor in bringing someone to where they are today. There is a story to everyone’s life that has brought each of us to our conclusions, beliefs and “understanding” of the world.
When we simply discount another’s opinion (because we in our vast wisdom do not agree) without listening and trying to understand, it invalidates and devalues their life and all that it has been. Perhaps some compassion and understanding from all of us would go a long way. Don’t assume someone is hateful just because they don’t agree with you or looks at something through a different perspective.
If we make an effort to understand one another, realize we’re all on a journey together, we might just find we have more in common than we do differences. In the process we might just find someone willing to listen to us and love us in spite of our “differences” and perhaps we will be able to do the same in return?
“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries, without them humanity cannot survive.” Dalai Lama