Hate is a very strong word. One of the strongest in the English language given the consequences of this word. People kill others out of hate. People disparage others because of hate. People misunderstand each other because of hate. Hate leads only to problems.
Hate is something most often taught by parents or society. I do not believe that babies are born to hate. It is a societal paradigm that only occurs through actions and words of others.
Whether you are Judge Sotomayor, now dealing with being called a “racist” amongst other things; or you are concerned over the brutal killing of Dr. Tiller; or you have kids who come home from school asking you questions about hateful words used in their school by some student: It is time for all of us to take responsibility for our words and our actions.
One way for all of us to take responsibility for hate is quite simple. Do not repeat hateful words, emails, and more importantly stop those you know who are spreading such things.
But another way to take responsibility for hate is to actively encourage non hateful, and even helpful behaviors.
So here is my list of things to do if you want to take responsibility for hate, and work to try to prevent the spread of hatred in the US.
1. Talk to each other as if you are sitting at a table having a cup of coffee.
2. Do not be quick to anger if someone says something you disagree with. Respect their opinion, but if you get angry it just makes the situation far worse.
3. Think before acting. This might seem so obvious, but in today’s recession driven angst, combined with the rapid speed of society; this seems to be something not so obvious.
4. Make some effort to understand other people through non-violent dialog.
If you feel none of these basic concepts work for you, or someone you know who is filled with hate, then consider turning that hatred around into a positive force, and help someone.
With that in mind – here is a list of non-profits that have low overhead, need volunteers and support, and provide critical societal support functions.
A. American Friends Service Committee –http://www.afsc.org
B. Red Cross – http://www.redcross.org
C. Human Service Charities of America – http://www.hsca.org
D. Adopt America Network – http://www.adoptamericanetwork.org
E. American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – http://www.afsp.org
So do yourself and the rest of us a favor. Stop hating. Stop associating with people who do hate. Take active responsibility for your words, actions and those of your friends, family and acquaintances. If you see hateful actions, do not repeat them. If you get hateful emails, do not forward them on.
Common Sense and Caring people will beat hate, hands down.