Hate, the book: 011

Hello Curious Friend.  Welcome to my book about Hate.  The number tells you where you are in the sequence.  I look forward to your comments.

Part One
Chapter Three
Why Study Hate?  (Continued)

Stopping it sounds good. But like real stop signs, most people just roll through it.

Hate is the emotion to tackle. But let’s examine “why” more closely. If you are already convinced, then by all means, skip ahead to the next chapter. You, and I, already feel the pain and anguish hate has leveled on society.

If, however, you are not convinced, then please read on. You should know that I was also not convinced when I began this project. Hate seemed to me to be secondary to fear, for instance. But thinking through the problem in many different ways led me to this conclusion – hate is the greatest emotional danger facing mankind. So, without further ado, let me introduce you to the many faces of mankind’s greatest antagonist: Hate.

It is my expectation that this chapter will be as hard for you to read as it was for me to write. To begin I’m going to explain why we must study hate, and the first step of that process is to show examples of hate. This evidence should convince you that hate is all around us today and been with us as long as any of us can personally remember. In fact, hate seems to have been present since the very beginning of history itself.

As I write this in the closing days of 2014, various acts have occurred within the month casting a pall over this normally festive time of year.

The first was within our nation, and appears connected to a string of violent encounters between “blacks” and police. I put blacks in quotes because these people aren’t black; they have darker skin than most Americans, mostly shades of brown. Police, on the other hand, are exactly who they are supposed to be. Hard-working employees of our local government attempting to maintain order and decency within society. It’s hard, thankless, and unforgiving work that requires a very special mind. Small wonder that police officers throughout the world find that they have more in common with each other than with their own neighbors.

This first hateful event happened in New York City, where two officers were killed in cold blood. The coward who killed them didn’t know them and hadn’t even bothered to try. Supposedly, as the story currently goes, these poor police officers were killed in retribution for violent clashes other officers had previously with black men in other cities.

In Missouri, a young man was killed for carrying a toy gun in a store that sold toy guns.
In New York City, another man was killed by a choke-hold over selling packages of cigarettes. In these last two cases, the extent of the root crime appears ridiculous: Buying a toy? Selling smokes? Yet something deeper, something more sinister was at work. And two police officers, both dark skinned, were killed in cold blood.

To be continued …

Hate, the book: 010

Hello Curious Friend.  Welcome to my book about Hate.  The number tells you where you are in the sequence.  I look forward to your comments.

Part One
Chapter Three
Why Study Hate?

Stopping it sounds good. But like real stop signs, most people just roll through it.

Leave me alone, please!” screamed the innocent passer-by as two plainclothes police proceeded to beat him up.
James Simon Kunen, “Strawberry Statement” pages 42 – 7 describing an event from the 1960s, New York City.

“They commenced an indiscriminate slaughter; until, weary of using their weapons, they hurled the few survivors from the rocks into the Zab (river) below.”
From Layard’s “Nineveh and its Remains” page 142 Lyons Press, 2001 Originally published 1851, describing an event in what is now known as Iraq.

What do these events have in common? Others imposing their will on seemingly innocent souls, with terrible consequences. These are only two events in what is a planet-sized ocean of violent emotions. It would seem that hate is everywhere, and has been here for a long time.

I present these two events as an incentive for you and me. For if you, like me, hope for a better world, then perhaps we should work together. If we are working together to build a better world, where should we start? I suggest that we start at the root of the problem: hate.

Ask someone to list the world’s problems, and what do they say? Crime, poverty, unbridled exploitation, pollution, the list seems to go on and on. But of all these problems and more, hate appears to be the one great problem which underlies so many of the others. Solve this one, and we will hold the key to solving so many of the others.
The amount of pain and anguish caused by hate should be enough to motivate anyone to work to get rid of it. Yet the opposite typically occurs. For we have been immersed in hate for so long that it’s background noise.

Psychologists call this habituation. And because we’re habituated to hate, we think it’s normal and that there is little chance it can be eradicated.

Wrong.

Hate can be addressed, attacked, and solved. We can start by recognizing it, isolating it, reducing it, and mitigating it. We can begin its quarantine and start vaccinating ourselves against it. In time, in a perfect future, hate can be made extinct.

And the benefit of working to rid the world of hate is that it will give us our greatest satisfaction. Reduce it one iota, and the effort would pay us back ten-fold. Consider the benefits the tourism industry in the Middle East would enjoy if hate were no more. In the absence of hate, who wouldn’t want to see the Egyptian Pyramids, the Wailing Wall, or any of the other innumerable wonders in that part of the world? This is just one tiny example of the benefits of eliminating hate.

To be continued …

Hate, the book: 009

Hello Curious Friend.  Welcome to my book about Hate.  The number tells you where you are in the sequence.  I look forward to your comments.

Part One
Chapter Two
Why Care?  (Continued)

Stopping it sounds good. But like real stop signs, most people just roll through it.

Within you is an idealist. Within you is a dreamer. Within you is a child who discovered hate for the first time and knows it’s unpleasant and unnatural. Within you is an adult who knows that hate exists all around us. Within you is a fighter, a person who does not give up easily. It is to all of your selves that this book is dedicated: that child who dreams, the adolescent who abhors, the adult who fights. Together we can take a step towards realizing that child’s better world. That child may be yours, or your grandchild, or the one that still lives within you. Or all of them, together. It is for them that we must care.

Don’t think about giving up because it’s hard. Listen now to the words of another man who spent his entire life fighting the effects of hate.

“I say to you today that I still stand by nonviolence.  And I am still convinced that it is the most potent weapon available to the Negro in his struggle for justice in this country.  And the other thing is that I am concerned about a better world.  I’m concerned about justice.  I’m concerned about brotherhood.  I’m concerned about truth.  And when one is concerned about these, he can never advocate violence.
For through violence you may murder a murderer, but you can’t murder murder.
Through violence you may murder a liar, but you can’t establish truth.
Through violence you may murder a hater, but you can’t murder hate.
Darkness cannot put out darkness.  Only light can do that.”
Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, “Where do we go from here? 1967, Address to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (16 August1967).

To be continued …

Hate, the book: 008

Hello Curious Friend.  Welcome to my book about Hate.  The number tells you where you are in the sequence.  I look forward to your comments.

Part One
Chapter Two
Why Care?  (Continued)

Stopping it sounds good. But like real stop signs, most people just roll through it.

Take yourself back to this age of innocence, that age populated with tooth fairies, princes and princesses, fairy godmothers and powerful wizards. Remember what it was like to think of a world where suffering would be answered with kindness, where evil would be matched by good, and those who were pure of heart would triumph. That person was you, then. That person is still within you, now. You may even be willing to let that person speak and dream, even today. If you do, then we have a special name for you. You are an idealist, a dreamer, a romantic. You have the courage to dream of a world that does not have to be as crazy or as mean or stupid or as evil as it seems. Every child born into our world is also an idealist at first, because for many years they are showered with love and protected from the evil and stupidity that infiltrates the adult world. At some point in time that child will learn that other children can be mean, biting, pushing, or say things that cause pain. Another day that same child will learn about war, crimes, and death. Slowly, inexorably, the reality of our world wears down the optimism of an idealist. In return, our child builds a wall of pessimism between himself and the world, a form of protection from this dangerous.

Still, the idealist within does not die. That inner child lives every time we thrill to the antics of Harry Potter or the characters of Star Wars. Every time we revel in the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn, that inner child giggles with laughter. Even in adult ways that child is revealed, for whenever we give blood, or put a donation in the box, it’s that idealistic heart within that still dreams of a world where there are no terrorists. A world where a child of any gender can walk alone without fear of abuse. A world where those with money and power are unable to use these resources to their advantage, so that we all compete based on meaningful ideas or principles.

To be continued …

Hate, the book: 007

Hello Curious Friend.  Welcome to my book about Hate.  The number tells you where you are in the sequence.  I look forward to your comments.

Part One
Chapter Two
Why Care?

Stopping it sounds good. But like real stop signs, most people just roll through it.

“I am concerned about a better world.”
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (see bibliography)

These words are flowing from my pen on December 26th, the day after Christmas. Christmas is a Christian celebration of their prophet’s birth. Strangely enough, it is also celebrated around the world by many non-Christians who see it as a day dedicated to exchanging gifts with friends, relatives, and loved ones.

One of the intriguing aspects of Christmas is the story that we tell to the youngest members of our species, our children. We tell them about a jolly old elf going by the name of Kris Kringle, or Saint Nick, or Santa Claus, or a hundred other names. Kris lives in the North Pole, making toys all year long. He watches the children, knows who’s been naughty and nice.

It’s a wonderful story, a beautiful children’s mythology, one that has been embellished and retold countless times. We can even say that Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” is about Santa Claus visiting Ebeneezer Scrooge in three different disguises! We know that Kringle works in mysterious ways.

Seeing Christmas through the eyes of a child is one of life’s great joys. This is why most parents go to great lengths in order to perpetuate the myth of Kringle for their children. Eventually, that child figures out the first truth; no magic elf lives at the North Pole. The first true Santa Claus is embodied within their parents, their family. This realization at first disillusions the poor child, and perhaps with a bit too much gusto that child will confide to younger siblings and peers the ugly truth; “There is no SANTA!”

As our child slogs through puberty, adolescence and into adulthood, he will eventually come to face the same problem as his parents. Perhaps a young niece will sit upon his knee and ask him about this Mr. Kringle. What does he tell her about the upcoming season? And our child-now-adult will do exactly what every other child-now-adult has done before; perpetuate the myth of Kris Kringle.

To be continued …