Hate Makes the World Go Round

Let’s be honest – it’s hatred not love that makes the world go round. Hate gives rise to terrorism, violence, racism, and bullying. It’s hate at the root of greed and anger, hostility, and abuse. Hatred divides and gives birth to most of the problems in the world.

What is this overpowering, malignant force? According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, hate is “intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury.”

Sources of Hatred 

Fear. Safety and security are in jeopardy. Think economic collapse, terrorism or failing health.

Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear. Bertrand Russell

Anger. Value is demeaned, belief system threatened. Think insult, ridicule, liberal vs. conservative.

Debate and dialogue is taking a back seat to the politics of destruction and anger and control. Dogma has replaced thoughtful discussion between people of differing views. James McGreevey

Injury. Physical harm has been inflicted. Think violence, torture, physical abuse to self, others, animals.

Pursuit of the ability to manipulate and control now produces only violence and destruction. Gary Zukav

Thanks to the media, fear, anger and injury are all around us. One would think that the world is fast imploding with violence and hatred. But according to Steven Pinker’s masterpiece The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, “violence has actually been in decline over long stretches of history, and today we may be living in the most peaceable era in our species’ existence.”

That is not to deny that there are horrendous acts of violence taking place every day. But when it is fed to us across every media channel, it builds fear and fear can spark irrational hatred.

Why Such Focus on Fear and Violence?

Fear is a powerful force of manipulation. This from The Power of Fear:

Fear is instilled in us at an early age and infects our perceptions throughout our lives. We are taught to be afraid of crime, afraid of losing our jobs, afraid of AIDS, afraid of immigrants, afraid of the Russians (or the Moslems), afraid of terrorism, afraid of chaos, afraid of failure, afraid of not being loved, afraid of going to hell. All these apprehensions are seized on and magnified by the media, the government, the corporations and the Church, whipping us into a frenzy of fear.

Our fears control us, dominate our thoughts and poison our emotions. When we are afraid, we are weak and obedient. When we are afraid, we will do anything, believe anything, submit to anything or anyone to feel safe.

When we are afraid, we give up not just our power, but our humanity. We see others through the lens of hatred not realizing that it is ourselves we demean. Thinking we are right puts us in instant, automatic opposition to anyone who does not agree with us. We see the other side as the bad guy, not realizing that the other side sees us as the same way.

Fear is the most debilitating emotion in the world, and it can keep you from ever truly knowing yourself and others…its adverse effects can no longer be overlooked or underestimated. Fear breeds hatred, and hatred has the power to destroy everything in its path. Kevyn Aucoin

And destroy us, it will. With our rapidly growing population, we must learn to co-exist peacefully. The solution to many of the world’s problems has long been obvious: Nutrition and education. There would be a significant decrease in war, environment and social problems if some of the money that goes into defense spending were diverted into providing basic nutrition and education.

Education is a lifelong responsibility. We must educate ourselves on the issues. We must stop believing everything we hear or see in the news. We must demand real news, true facts. One fact that is surely obvious after all this time….

War has not solved the problem of radical terrorism

Understand The Psychology of Terrorism: Why Normal People Become Deluded Murderers. 

Learn about the positive contributions of Muslims and a concise explanation of the causes of terrorism in…

The Lost History of Muslim Geniuses and the Truth About Terrorism

And most of all, we must learn about ourselves and ever strive to learn and grow. If we do not rise above them, fear and hatred will destroy us individually and collectively.

Is it not time to listen to the better angels of our nature?

Why You Want to Separate, Individuate and Be Special

Do you want to separate from the pack? Stand out from the crowd? Be special, noticed?

Do you want to belong? Feel connected and loved?

We have both drives within us. Love is virtually our life force. Infants cannot survive and thrive without loving care.  Social isolation has deadly effects. But eventually, we need to cut the apron strings. To be mature, productive adults, we must be able to stand on our own.

One can successfully fulfill these two seemingly conflicting drives. The desire for love and connection is fulfilled in relationships, the workplace, community. The drive for specialness is fulfilled in self-development and achievement. But today, it seems that the drive to separate has gone to an unhealthy, unfulfilling extreme.

There are two primary motives behind the urge to separate…

Success-Driven Separation

When we seek our value and identity from external sources, we go to great lengths to be recognized. A false sense of pride drives us to set ourselves apart and highlight our differences. We compete to outdo one another, to prove we are better. Whether it is us alone or our team, our product or our country, we want to win, be #1. That’s what our society glorifies, and that’s our goal. But at what cost?

Winners must have losers. Superior necessitates inferior. Did you play the game King of the Hill when you were a child? Everyone struggles to reach the top of a hill and hold that position. How? By pushing contenders down the hill as they approach. Sooner or later, the king is outnumbered and thrown from his perch. The position is claimed by someone else who then turns against those who helped him achieve the coveted spot.

The excitement of gaining the top of the hill was always accompanied by fear of losing it. The apex is a scary, shaky place when attained by pushing others down. There’s always someone nipping at our heels, anxious to overthrow the king. Winning is ephemeral, the thrill of victory short lived, replaced by a sense of separation and isolation. 

Too much self-centered attitude…brings isolation. Result: loneliness, fear, anger. The extreme self-centered attitude is the source of suffering. Dalai Lama

Little did we know that our game echoed the game of life. Competition is one of the primary forces in business and athletics, in life. It drives a wedge in relationships. Partners compete: who is contributing more? Who is the better parent? More accomplished? Parents and children compete: who is in control? Students compete: who is smarter? Friends compete: who is more popular? Competition can separate us from those we most want to connect with.

Ironically, it doesn’t matter whether we are better than everyone else

or worse, as long as we stand out, are special.

We are natural born attention seekers. Whether we are clothed in the finest apparel or covered in tattoos, we will – we hope – be noticed.

Fear-Driven Separation

Just as we have an innate drive to connect and belong, we have an instinctual fear of others. Long before the development of agriculture and with it the establishment of settlements, we lived as nomadic tribes. Practically everyone within the tribe was related. We were totally interdependent and shared a group consciousness. On the occasions we encountered another tribe, we were naturally suspicious. Were they friend or foe? Were they after our food, water, territory?

This instinctual response to strangers is still within us. It was tempered when we settled in communities, and cooperation was necessary to survive. Nevertheless, within those settlements, we were drawn to people and groups with whom we felt a certain kinship. We still are.

We join churches of a particular faith and clubs of shared interests. We are wary of those who are or appear significantly different. Slavery developed because whites did not recognize blacks as fully human. Torture takes place when people see the other as evil, sub-human.

Fear is at the root of separation and hatred. Fear becomes magnified when it is the common thread that joins us.

There is no passion so contagious as that of fear. Michel de Montaigne

We are afraid of people of different cultures, colors, religions, sexuality, belief systems. We are afraid of our specialness and belief systems being threatened. We are afraid of losing something. We are afraid of being deprived. We are afraid of being hurt.

We are simply afraid. Take all those objects of fear away and we will find another.

Walls will not protect us. Wars will not protect us. Fear is internal and cannot be erased by external measures. We are not going to overcome our automatic instincts to distrust and separate from our fellow human beings until we recognize our primal fear and deal with it rationally.

Fear can only be overcome but its opposite: Love. And by that I mean acceptance, kindness, integration, understanding. It is impossible to understand and hate.

Yes, there are those in the world who would do another harm. But they do not fit into any one country or religion. If those of peace and goodwill are unified, those who are not will be more easily recognized and dealt with.

As love attracts love, fear attracts fear. We must not be swept up in a tide of group fear and paranoia lest it leads to the downfall not only of ourselves but of our country.

   …the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked & denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.
Hermann Goering during the Nuremberg trials

Do You Want to Be Right or Happy?

With every election, there are winners and losers, cheers and tears. Whether your man won or your lady lost… Stop! Take a deep breath. We’re all in the same boat now.

This is not the first time a startling election upset has occurred in this country. We survived before. We will survive again. The question is can we do more than survive? Can we thrive?

Absolutely. The greatest triumphs come from facing and overcoming great challenges. Before we can work together to mend fences and build bridges, we have to calm down. There can be no peace without if we don’t establish peace within. So, in the days ahead contemplate words like these…

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs…face-1574178_640If you can watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,
(adapted from Rudyard Kipling’s “If”)

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow lglobal-1585383_640ove;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light.
(adapted from Prayer of St. Francis)

Believe it or not, we all want the same things – peace, happiness, fulfillment. We just have radically different ideas about how to achieve that. Some ideas are based on love and some are based on fear. Fear cannot be overcome by fighting. Fear leads to fighting and fighting increases fear. It is an endless cycle.

Fear cannot be overcome by resistance. What we resist actually grows stronger. Fear is overcome by education, understanding, patience, gentleness. And trust.

We have to trust that Mr. Trump will be true to his word and be a president for all people. That means listening to all sides, finding the middle road. We have to have faith in his higher nature.

There is a danger at times like this in hoping the opposition fails. Then we can proudly proclaim we were right. But that self-righeousness comes at the cost of forfeiting what we really want – peace and progress. donald-trump-1722034_1280

Would you rather be right or happy? Let’s choose happiness. Not just for our own sake but for all of us.

Separation is humanity’s disease. Union is healing.