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.
“If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you…”
If, by Rudyard Kipling, 1895
Trusting me and trusting yourself is critical for our next step in our quest to understand and reduce hate in this world. Trust is critical because we are about to explore a psychological landscape few others have ever dared venture.
There’s a reason for this. The biggest is related to what we discussed in the last chapter.
Certain emotions, especially those related to hate, are so slippery and ephemeral that it’s hard to get a handle on them. It’s like walking through quicksand – the harder you walk, the deeper you sink.
So for us to get through this journey in one piece, we’re going to have to pause for a moment. In this chapter we’ll catch our breath, consider what lies ahead, and then take inventory of all our tools. Keeping a cool head and making the best use of our tools will lead us to success, but since we’re about to pass through treacherous terrain, laser-sharp focus will be critical.
Of course, we won’t walk through physical quicksand, but in terms of our landscape analogy, there is metaphorical quicksand to deal with.
We’re about to explore deeper psychological considerations. Not just traipsing through the mind, which is tricky enough, but we’re about to take things a step further by considering an individual’s thoughts, biases, prejudices and motivations as they relate to the subject of hate.
Clearly, trying to figure out any individual’s thoughts and motivations borders on the impossible. But we must explore this dark swamp of our landscape.
In order to properly consider the best way to approach this terrain, we must assess it from numerous angles. Where does it sit? What do we see when we’re in it?
It’s critical to understand that the answer to these questions depends on who’s asking. You will see it one way, while I’ll see it in another. For you, it will sit in a space, while for me it will sit in another space.
We’ll both have a unique perspective of this ground, as we do with everything in the universe.
In technical terms, this is called a frame of reference.
This place that I see right now, at this exact point in time, this is my personal frame of reference.
Mankind has recognized and used frames of reference for thousands of years. The best way to show what it is and how it’s been used is through actual examples.
Look up and around. What do you see? Since the beginning of mankind, we’ve asked ourselves the same question.
It’s been asked when it was time to find food, or shelter, or when seeking to avoid predators.
If we watch other members of the animal kingdom closely, we’ll see that they look around repeatedly. They scan the horizon every time they move from place to place.
Just as important, they’ll also look around repeatedly even if they haven’t moved. Why? Because they know the world around them may have changed. That predator they’re on guard against may have been sneaking closer and is preparing to pounce.
To be continued …