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.
His great insight was that my universe appears slightly different from your universe. The reason is that the further we move and the more gravity we fight, the more the very fabric of space and time warps around us. Our clocks no longer stay the same, light reaches our eyes differently, and our universe become ours alone.
Physicists have taken these ideas and the concept of frames of reference and incorporated them into modern-day physics as elegant mathematical formulas.
They are now essential tools that we use in our everyday lives.
You didn’t know that? Well, have you ever used the Global Positioning Satellite system to get somewhere? If it wasn’t for Einstein and his frame of reference, we wouldn’t have GPS, and I’d still get lost all the time.
So what does the subject of frames of reference have to do with studying hate? Consider the fact that our task of studying hate is extremely difficult because the subject has dimensions that transcend light or time.
For example, in any instance of a hateful situation, it’s going to be possible to find someone who says “I see no hate here. You are mistaken.”
We saw an extreme example of this several chapters ago when we examined the case of a preacher telling his followers to picket the funeral of fallen soldiers.
He used their deaths as a way to broadcast his message to the world, knowing that the media would be present. For a great many of us, his hate would be considered straight-forward and self-evident.
However, it’s a different story for his followers. They would protest and say, “There is no hate here. Instead, we call this love, or a holy duty.”
If those same followers have children, there’s an equally good chance they will be strongly influenced their parents’ attitude. As a result, these young minds will likely see no hate in either the preacher or their parents. From their frame of reference everything is loving, normal. Instead, they will likely consider you and I as the hateful ones.
How then do we incorporate the idea of an individual frame of reference into our study of hate?
Going back to our analogy of landscape and traveling through a swamp now works to our advantage.
What we do is describe the individual perceptions of our surroundings so that others can compare it to their individual perceptions of these same surroundings when they pass through.
We will also take care to describe the tools we have for getting through the forests of our landscape. These tools consist of our assumptions and biases we carry with us everywhere we go. Both of these aspects, describing our individual perceptions of our surroundings and the tools we’ll use to proceed, are critical for two reasons. The first is that it will be easier for you, and anyone else who follows, to understand this journey, like why you and I took the steps that we did, and why we chose one thing to analyze and not another.
To be continued …