There is a lot of hate in the world today.
I’m not just referring to the acts of terrorism that have taken place so recently in France. That is heartbreaking, and criminal and an outrage to humanity. It is always tragic when hate becomes institutionalized as a movement bent on destruction. I believe that what is happening in the world in this regard today is not the product of the true heart of Islam. Before you denigrate an entire religion because of the actions of a few fanatics think on this. There have always been small minded and evil people who eagerly use the excuse of religion to terrorize those they consider lesser or evil, or just “other”. If you think this behavior is unique to what we call Islamic terrorism, then I would suggest you look back to the 1950s and 1960s. Those KKK members would have sworn they were doing the Lord’s work when they terrorized their victims, bent on denying them their rights, and even for some, their very lives. If that doesn’t convince you, go back further in time to the Spanish Inquisition and the “Crusades” that were directed against those who were not “Christian”. This is not to excuse these crimes against humanity. Just to let you know they’re nothing new.
All this is more than bad enough but there’s another indication of hate in the world that is very worrisome to me. It is is the hate I am seeing everywhere from ordinary people, people you might think were mild mannered, regular ordinary citizens. If you have FaceBook, then I am sure you’ve seen it. Check your news feed, and look at some of the memes that have been making the rounds for the last several months. Haters abound. It’s very sad and very scary, and sadly, very true.
I remember how, in years past when there would be elections and, no matter how invested you were in the process, at the end of the day, if your guy or gal lost, you put it behind you, recognized the legitimacy of the government elected of the people, by the people, for the people, and carried on until the next election.
No more. Now, if your guy or gal loses, the thing to do is to spread hate about the one who was elected, to do your best to stir up fear and loathing of this individual.
Here’s what saddens me about this. You see, hate breeds hate. And those who fill their lives with hateful messages and ideas and memes are filling their hearts and souls with hate, too. You can’t help it, you can’t keep it out. Every ounce of hate you take in and celebrate displaces an equal measure of love. The more hate you fill yourself with, the less love you can hold and—the absolute worst part—the more miserable you yourself are bound to feel.
I challenge anyone to tell me that they simultaneously hate particular politicians, or religions, or groups, or various movements and still honestly feel good about themselves deep inside. You can’t do it because hate and love don’t co-exist. You can’t love yourself and your life and your neighbor, while you are busy spewing hate all over the place.
You cannot love, while you are busy spewing hate.
Too many people in today’s society demonize those with whom they have philosophical differences. They are sowing a bitter, bitter harvest for themselves.
I’m not saying that we shouldn’t do all we can to thwart those who would terrorize innocent people in the name of ideology. Of course we should. We need to take action against those who would break our laws and disregard the rights of others. We need to stand firm, and refuse to be afraid to live our lives, and we should urge those in positions of authority to investigate, and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law, those guilty of crimes such as bombing, kidnapping, and murder. We should stand up and speak out about injustice.
However, what we absolutely must not do, is lose our humanity in the process. Because the truth is that if you surrender completely to the hate you do in fact lose your humanity, and you do one more thing as well.
You accomplish the terrorists work for them.