Making Enemies Out of Innocents
Most of the time I avoid the news, not only because 90% of it is fake these days, but because the majority of it is hate driven. Even worse, the masses are encouraged to find someone to blame for the lies they ingest like candy corn.
This group is taking your jobs. That group is defiling your daughters. Another group is, oh, I don’t know—devil worshipers. What it boils down to is people believing any lie they’re told as long as they don’t have to take any responsibility on themselves. What I see from where I sit, as distanced as possible from the insanity overtaking not just our country, but our world, is there are only two real enemies: the one who is fabricating the hate and blame, and those who believe it and find in their hearts, only room for more hate and blame. And the worst part is, the second group is utterly clueless about how they’re succumbing willingly to blatant manipulation by the first.
At one time or another, most of us find a reason to blame outside sources for our inability to achieve what we think we should, or have what we believe we ought. It’s easier to convince ourselves someone or something cheated us out of what we deserve than to recognize the obvious; we are responsible for our own destiny.
Hate: Learned or Innate?
You can argue with me if you want to, but I don’t believe hate is a natural part of the human condition. It is a demon conjured by those who wish to gain power and have no morals about how they’ll accomplish their goals. It’s a tool, but once the demon is released, it runs rampant and is nearly impossible to capture and subdue.
Many before me who were wiser and more influential insisted the only way to tame that demon was with love. Naive as it might sound, I agree. Before you laugh me out of the room, or denounce me as a fool, hear me out.
If you pour gasoline on a fire, what happens? The fire grows. So it would follow that if you pour hate on an already hate fueled issue, you’ll only cause the hate to grow as well.
There are marchers and counter-marchers, each spewing their impassioned slogans and buzz words at each other. Each side rises to the occasion in self-righteous indignation, and before long, the fire of hate burns brightly on both sides. What have we accomplished?
Is Peaceful Coexistence an Impossible Dream?
Under present conditions, it’s probably pie in the sky to think we might come together and formulate a peaceful and universally fair solution to all the hate and lies and ugliness that’s turning people against each other needlessly. In the midst of all the rhetoric and pot stirring, I’m asking the same question we’re encouraged to ask when someone asks “why?”. I really want to know, “why not?”.
Why not let the politicians and the power mongers duke it out on the world stage while we gather quietly in the shadows and find ways to counteract the hate and misery. What is stopping us from excusing ourselves from the collective insanity to work on ways we can work together? And why can’t we respond to the incessant call to hate with waves of love, compassion, and respect?
Fact Checking is Everyone’s Responsibility
In an age where information is available with a couple of clicks of a mouse or a few keystrokes, we have everything we need to cut through the rhetoric, separate the wheat from the chaff, and more importantly, filter at least some of the lies out in our search for the truth.
Taking it a step or five further, regardless of what we find, there will always be those who refute what we believe is the truth. That’s OK, as long as it’s a discussion and not an argument. We are all better for taking the time to understand a point of view that differs from our own. It’s an opportunity to learn and even to question what we believe is true. How did we arrive at our conclusions? What facts are we using? What sources provided those facts? What are the agendas of our sources? Can they truly be trusted to give us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?
Philosophical Truth vs. The Truth of Hidden Agendas
Philosophically speaking something cannot be both the truth and a lie. But politics, power, and greed make their own rules. The one they all worship as if it were a god is “truth is in the eye of the beholder”. They take the responsibility of making their version of truth appear in more eyes than the other guy very seriously. If we dissect everything they tell us, it becomes the old joke: “How do you know a politician is lying? His lips are moving.” Or in today’s environment, we could say it shows up on Twitter.
I understand people believe the ones they’re taught to believe without question, no matter what inconceivable crap might spew from their mouths. There are still some of us who were taught to dig into what we’re told and look for holes in the logic. But doing so takes time and effort. We can’t be on top of every single issue. Just getting past the ever-expanding smoke screens takes more time, effort, patience, and persistence than most people are willing to expend.
To Feed or Not to Feed the Real Enemy to Us All
We can, however, pick and choose our issues. I, for one have a tendency to avoid the ones which are garnering the most attention. Why? Because it’s the diversion in the sleight of hand trick. They are the hot buttons guaranteed to trigger massive emotional reactions and outbursts, thus feeding the never-satiated beast of hate, a beast I’ve chosen not to feed.
I admit, refraining from generating emotional fodder is difficult in the best of times. The littlest things like mentally judging a person or an act is sufficient to bring negative emotions to the forefront. I’m challenged every day to think only kind thoughts of my fellow humans, to avoid words like “stupid”, and “idiotic” when I see someone acting inconsiderately (yet another judgement, I know). It’s difficult, but not impossible to refrain from taking the words and acts of others personally, when, on a conscious level, we know nothing really is.
Humans Are Basically Kind-Hearted
Normally, people don’t speak or act from a place of intentional hurt. They don’t normally plan to say or do things which cause pain to others, and certainly not to someone they don’t really know. But when we react as if they did, we feed their own pain, and soon have a conflagration of anger, but more, of pain.
Now, as much as the beast loves hate, it loves pain even more. The more pain it can cause, the bigger it grows. Whether it’s immigrant children separated from their parents, Muslims blamed for no concrete reason, or someone beaten because someone else’s lives matter, you can bet there will be a feeding frenzy in the opulent abodes of the greedy and powerful.
Stop Playing the Blame Game
We can fix this, though. It starts with putting aside the blame. It continues when we reach out and listen when people with opposing views explain their position, and when we do so without judgement, without a need to convince or turn.
I responded to a post asking if the word “God” should be left in the Pledge of Allegiance. My response was that it should not, and that it was not in the original anyway, but had been added in the ’50’s. One man responded rather violently, saying it should have been there in the first place, and went on to tell me about his military career and how he fought for “God and Country”. I told him I respected his opinion, and was grateful for his service, but asked that he respect mine as well.
That’s really all I’m saying here. We all have opinions. Sometimes they’ll mesh and sometimes they won’t. But hating someone because they have a different opinion is silly, and worse, it breaks down any hope of communication or learning. I guarantee the person you’re hating because of one difference in opinion, has at least a dozen opinions you share. When you shut down over one thing, you cheat yourself of so much more.
Putting This Topic to Rest—For Now
I’m going to get off my soapbox for now, but hope you’ll have reason to think about what I’ve said. I don’t expect you to agree with everything I’ve said, and I value your comments. I always appreciate the opportunity to learn something new, or see things from a different angle. But I will not tolerate disrespect, for me or for anyone else who responds to this post. If nothing else, look at your own inner child and before you speak, ask if you’d use those words when speaking to the child.
Feeling Grateful Every Day
My gratitudes today are:
- I am grateful I’m able to continue to do my own housework. I’ve known far too many who lose that ability way too young.
- I am grateful for my cats who’ve been especially attentive lately. They often know I’m struggling before I know myself.
- I am grateful for my daughter who’s persistence, tenacity, and uber-organization inspire me to do better myself.
- I am grateful for dancing. Even on a night when I’m feeling disconnected, I still am better for getting out and moving, for exchanging hugs with my friends, and for reaching out to someone new.
- I am grateful for abundance; ideas, inspiration, motivation, energy, strength, health, peace, harmony, philanthropy, and prosperity.
Love and Light
About the Author
Sheri Conaway is a writer, blogger, Virtual Assistant and advocate for cats. Sheri believes in the Laws of Attraction, but only if you are a participant rather than just an observer. She specializes in creating content that helps entrepreneurs touch the souls of their readers and clients so they can increase their impact and their income. If you’d like to have her write for you, please visit her Hire Me page for more information. You can also find her on Facebook Sheri Levenstein-Conaway Author