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.
Catch the Conscience (Continued)
Oscar watches over Sierra and Tango, who appear to be playing nicely together. Tango is standing unsteadily, with his back to Sierra.
Then, unexpectedly, Sierra reaches out and pushes Tango just hard enough to cause him to totter.
Oscar quickly catches Tango as he’s about to fall, and at the same time pulls Sierra’s hand away from her little brother. Then he separates the children and surveys the damage.
Oscar’s face reflects a combination of emotions and reactions: relief, perplexion, dismay, disappointment, concern, and perhaps amusement. Parents of youngsters know exactly how he feels.
Curtain. The End.
Then there’s applause, and perhaps a curtain call. Our actors have done a fine job. They have given us a scene that is culturally universal, something almost everyone can identify with.
Siblings have been pushing each other for millions of years. Their gender, the setting, their backgrounds and peculiarities are all irrelevant for our purposes. We have witnessed the first and most basic play about hate.
It’s time now to head for a coffee shop where we can discuss what we’ve seen in great detail. In addition, we should also consider how all the elements of our play help us use our new definition of hate most effectively.
Post Play Analysis
Our play can be acted out in seconds, yet there was enough going on to keep us talking for hours. It’s not my intention to do that, as this is intended to be a relaxed coffee shop discussion.
We want to explore what’s going on in just enough detail so that we can appreciate the complexity of our issues against the backdrop of an exceptionally simple event. Don’t worry about not having a full-blown discussion right now; we’ll do that later.
First, let’s consider the headline of a news story describing this play. “Sister pushes Brother!” It’s not the kind of headline that’s going to sell subscriptions. It’s not even the kind of attention-getter that’s going to entice you to read the article.
As in so many other instances where hate is present, we are numb to it because we see it everywhere. Most of us are so desensitized to everyday hate that it’s little more than background noise, much like living next to a highway or airport.
So we tend to filter out everyday hate like the tiny scene in our play. What of the participants in this play? We needed at least three. Why not two? Or even one?
We’ll discuss that issue in a minute. But for now, let’s examine the actors in terms of the forces involved.
To begin with, we need a source of hate. That source has to involve someone desiring to inflict harm. In our play, the source is Sierra. The source needs someone, always a someone, to direct their hate towards.
In other words a target. Tango is the target of Sierra’s hate.
There is an old philosopher’s riddle that asks this question: If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?
To be continued …