I usually try to keep my blogs separate. And perhaps this is pent up because I haven't been using the other one, but I have to start today's blog off with a scripture, and I think it's both pertinent and timely:
15 ‘You shall do no injustice in judgment; you shall not be partial to the poor nor defer to the great, but you are to judge your neighbor fairly. 16 You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people, and you are not to act against the life of your neighbor; I am the Lord. 17 ‘You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him. 18 You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the sons of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself; I am the Lord.
There are a number of other scriptures that I could use, the Bible is full of scriptures forbidding us to hate our fellow man, but somehow, not surprisingly, we've failed, and we've failed big time.
Say the name "Donald Trump" and just watch the hate that ensues.
Say the name "Nancy Pelosi" and see the same.
Say "I love America" and the hate becomes palpable and tangible. You could cut it with a knife.
It's amazing to me how easily we've fallen into our basest instincts. How is it that we've come to this point? Consider the following quote from Janet Fitch in White Oleander:
“Isn't it funny. I'm enjoying my hatred so much more than I ever enjoyed love. Love is temperamental. Tiring. It makes demands. Love uses you, changes its mind. But hatred, now, that's something you can use. Sculpt. Wield. It's hard, or soft, however you need it. Love humiliates you, but Hatred cradles you.”
Yes, folks, it really is that simple. Hate is easy, and that's why we fall back on it. It's easy to hate, but hard to love. Love demands sacrifice. Love demands that I look to someone else's needs, but hate? Ah, hate, now there is something that we can wrap ourselves up in because we WANT to. We like it, and secretly, we love it. It makes us feel great to exact our vengeance, even if only in our own minds. Yet, thoughts give way to plans, plans to logistics, logistics to action, and action to punishment, and punishment to remorse... though I admit that last one is more hopeful than real.
Why do we hate our political opponents? Simple, because it's easier than trying to understand them. It's easier than trying to help them. It's easier than trying to find solutions that mean we don't entirely get our way. So we give in, we hate.
Somewhere, Emperor Palpatine must be smiling with glee...
When hate becomes our watchword, conflict is not far behind, and where conflict goes, war follows. And war, well, to quote a popular video game franchise, "War never changes."
You see, it has to start with us. It's not going to start with our "leaders" and politicians. They just reflect US in greater volume and intensity while claiming that they're "leading" us. No, WE are the leaders, and they simply give us what we're asking for. It's time we started asking for something else.
I have no illusions left. I have no sweet visions of happiness carried by fall winds. I know what the reaction to this article will be. Those on the left will say that they hate in response to Trump's hate (though trump wasn't around in 1984 or 1992 or ...). Those on the right will say that they're hating in response to the left's hating (though the hate for President Obama was crystal clear even if it wasn't acted upon).
No, there will be no happy ending for most. Most will just point at the other guy instead of looking deeply into the mirror and considering their own contributions to the world in which we live.
I refuse to believe that we've crossed some point of no return. We haven't, unless we believe we have; and if we believe we have, well, God help us all.
There is still time to avert disaster, but it can only happen if each "side" starts calling out their own. I guess we'll have to see if they're willing.
It's time to be the change you want to see in the world, that begins with healing and understanding, and it has to begin with you.