Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wednesday's Words, by Morgan Ashbury

When are we going to decide that enough is enough? When are we going to understand the cause of it all? We sit back, in our living rooms, in horror and watch the news on television, as once more, hate reigns supreme, as once more hate steals lives. We shake our heads, and think that some folks are just out of control. Why are they doing things like this? They never used to.

But it’s more than that. You can’t watch a newscast anymore without at least one item being about someone hating on someone else. My goodness, just look at all the cases of road rage we’ve seen highlighted lately! Road rage is an example of where hate comes from. It comes from anger, unchecked and unmanaged.  It’s the symptom of a disease, and one that wasn’t in existence a couple of decades ago. Anger turns to rage and rage, to hate. And that’s the name of the disease: virulent hate.

I don’t think the greatest danger to humanity (sorry, Mr. Bill Gates) is the threat of a pandemic of flu or Ebola. It’s the pandemic of hate, and it’s already got a toe hold in our world.

There’s an election coming in the United States, and with the increase in election rhetoric, there’s an increase in hate. You only have to surf FaceBook and see how many people on a regular basis post memes that have hate-filled messages.  Yes, you have a right to your opinion, and yes, a constitutional right to free speech. But don’t use that as an excuse. Please don’t use that as a license to spew hatred. What you are doing is slowly but surely poisoning our society.

Here’s how. Every time someone does or says or supports something hateful, a tiny bit of the hate toxin is released and enters the atmosphere. It travels around, infecting people one by one by one. Those who might otherwise have felt disgruntled, but kept it to themselves, those who are angry and trying to manage their anger, are invigorated by the hate they breathe in, and emboldened by the hate they see others spewing, and so they think it’s fine let their anger grow, to jump right in and hate on everyone, too.

Hate breeds hate, and pretty soon, people are desensitised to the hate being thrown about, and so, to get the same thrill, these haters have to go to the next level of hating, becoming even more virulent and hate-filled.

The blame for this doesn’t lie “out there.” The truth is we’ve done this, all of us. We’ve allowed it to be okay for people to scream hate, to post hate, to show hate. We have created an atmosphere that allows for a young man to go into a church and kill people who are engaged in Bible study. To kill them because they look different than he does.

Until we stop demonizing those who are different than us, until we stop stirring up rage and hate and fear as weapons of choice in the war of ideologies, events like what happened last week in Charleston are only going to continue.

We have to stop the madness. It’s on each and every one of us to stop this madness now.

So feel free to disagree with another’s politics. State your reasons, clearly, convincingly. Disagree with the way some people run their businesses or even their families. Be honest, be forthright. Tell us why you are FOR someone or something, and not why you are AGAINST someone or something else. You can say anything you want to say. But as a matter of conscience, don’t demonize those who hold opinions or lifestyles different than your own.

God doesn’t hold any particular political party affiliation. Trust me on this. It’s right there in black and white, in a book I read often.

Stop spreading the hate. It’s time to return to civility and self control and common sense. We’ll all be happier, and yes, healthier, when we do.

Love,
Morgan

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