To hate is easy and simple. The same is true for love. Both can be knee-jerk responses to life and the beings around us. One of the interesting aspects of both hating and loving, is that once we have surrendered to either one, it’s difficult to let go of them.
There is a lot of hatred in the world. There is a lot of loving in the world. Although we know there is a lot of hate going on. If we’re honest, we admit we engage in it ourselves. Like any problem, it’s best to face the facts of it so we can analyze and constructively work to minimize its harmful manifestations.
During meditation, yesterday, I contemplated this business of hate. Apparently, we’re hardwired to hate. It’s so easy to do, even small children do it at an elementary level. To be fair, the same can be said for love; but people are unafraid of discussing the topic of love. Meantime, honest discussions of hate are somewhat taboo. This is not to diminish the fact that people enjoy decrying the evils of hatred. An irony of condemning hate is that hating hate is socially acceptable.
A basic observation we may have made is that generally, bad things are easier to attain than good things. Scary, threatening things like the Coronavirus, crime, and other threats to our physical well-being trigger our survival instinct. This provides a clue about why we hate things and people on an irrational level. We have learned to perceive unfamiliar situations and people as potential threats.
“Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.”–Martin Luther King, Jr.
In most instances, when we get to know things or people better, our hatred of them diminishes or vanishes. This is true except for institutionalized hatred or fear of “the other”. Many of our esteemed institutions rely upon fear and hatred in order to thrive. There are techniques that effectively manipulate our strongest emotions in order to influence our beliefs and actions. Fear and hate of “the other” are easily accessible by those who wish to influence and manipulate society. There are many books and scholarly lessons that explain these techniques. Like all harmful things and ideas, they are easy to obtain.
We are a dichotomous species in that we tend to categorize things and people into two main categories–good and bad. We love some and hate some. It is unwise to allow dichotomy to rule our lives. Concentrating on things we dislike bleeds over into the experience of life. Constantly yearning for things we like creates dissatisfaction with life. Observing things and people with an open mind is one approach that allows us more freedom from judgment. It’s not that dichotomy is a good or a bad thing; dichotomy is just a psychological tool.
Perhaps we are wise when we’re more mindful of our attachments to love and to hate.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes the late, great Bob Marley. “Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don’t complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!”