A year later thoughts – basic principle of life: love others…it’s that simple, but that hard – what’s the point of extending a life a year, gifting a year to someone who doesn’t deserve it, only to spend even a moment of that year entertaining hate. Thoughts like this go through my head on a daily basis as most of you well know.
What makes hating someone feel so much easier or more natural regarding our gut behavior as adults?
As children, our gut response is happiness…babies in super markets waving at each other from their own mother’s carts. What makes differences seem so threatening. The fear of the unknown. Control freaks are born. When at any point in your entire life did you honestly feel completely in control of everything happening to you. It never happens…not entirely. So, technically what we desire, i.e. control, we never experience and never have experienced it…only the idea of it. So, we desire the unknown and we both hate the unknown. Therein lies the proverbial rub.
Love and hate have always been romanticized in literature. If everyone loved entirely and completely then no one would have what is considered a “good” story. So, part of us desires that struggle, that opposition, that broken path sign in the dirt pointing the way down the trail that leads to hatred.
Martin Luther King Jr. once wrote, “Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.” I agree with Dr. King, but I also think the word fear can be substituted here as well. Yet, the dichotomy of this necessitates the human existence. We treat these feelings as novel each time they arise and on a grander scale each time, yet nothing is new. History is a jealous lady who prides herself on repetition.
Pretty words and thoughts…that’s all this is. It changes nothing in and of itself. Small acts of kindness, birthed from one’s soul, bestowed to the least of deserving does though.
Am I talking about the election last night and subsequent response today? Maybe. Am I talking about myself deserving a new chance at life? Maybe. Am I rambling? Probably. It just seems to be a theme that has been building in my mind over the last few months. People applaud me for being honest. People attack me for being too open minded for their taste when they thought I was “on their side” of an issue or aspect of religion. I’ve wracked my brain this morning sitting and thinking of who and where the most hateful words come from that I’ve experienced in life and the answer shook me to my core. The very heart and soul of where love was supposed to be shown unconditionally failed me.
I’ll admit I do not like arguments or contentious discussions because I truly don’t see any benefit they have other than letting both parties flex their egos and regurgitate thoughts and ideas someone else wrote in a book that they skimmed over once. As the Buddha put it, “what we think, we become.” As a lover of his philosophies on life and humanity in general I truly hope that is not true today for much of this country. And as an aside, no offense Mr. Buddha, that dogma is typically true only for bad qualities and thoughts – not the good ones. I’ve tried exhaustively this year to be upbeat, positive – take everything, every trial on my recovery in stride and prance around #blessed everywhere, but in reality it’s not that easy. Maybe what we think, if we think it continuously over a long period of time we become for good, but what we think, briefly in a thoughtless hate filled second, we also become.
That being said…maybe we all just try this and hope for the best:
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Or more colloquially, as my Nana used to say (and probably most of our Nanas), “if you can’t say something nice, then don’t say it at all.”