“Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of a rat.”
~Harry Emerson Fosdick
I recently watched a video of a man offering hugs at two different political rallies. At one he was well received. Not so much at the other. In fact, the rally attendees spewed some pretty nasty comments and hand gestures his way. It was enough to make me believe that these people truly hated this young man. They couldn’t, after all, have an issue with hugs. Could they?
For a long time, most people associated hate with the guys in white sheets/robes and white pointy hats. Easily associated with the South, it was also the only placed you expected to see it. They were the epitome of hatred in America.
Nowadays it seems we don’t have to look far for hate. It rears its ugly head in so many spaces in our daily lives. From political rallies to our daily commutes, hate seems to be spewing in such force I’m wondering if there is a vast river of pink slime causing it.
But the space that I would say is the leader in showing hate is…drumroll please
I’ve assessed that the majority of internet trolls write their nasty, hateful comments without a name or picture. It’s easy because their is no accountability. I wrote about this in a 2013 post, Hey Internet, say it to my face! Unfortunately in a political year, the veil is lifted and people will share all manner of nastiness and hate in person and to your face.
So, who’s to blame?
I’ve given this a lot of thought. My answer is everyone. When we avoid standing up for the little guy, when we turn a blind eye to bullying, racism, discrimination and sexism, when we laugh at jokes that we know should never have been uttered, when we say “that’s not my problem”, and when we don’t offer an encouraging word to someone hurting but expect someone to give us one. I could go one but you get my drift.
Take a stand today against the hate you see around you. All it takes is one step to make a difference.
Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs. (Proverbs 10:12)