Haters will hate.

And there is nothing we can do about it.

Right?

The ongoing debate for decades has been the one of  Nature vs Nurture: Are people naturally evil and filled with hatred, or is it something we learn?

I’d like to argue ‘yes’.

Yes, by nature we have the capacity to hate. We have the capacity to entertain evil thoughts and do evil things.

And yes, we learn hatred and prejudices from others. We learn evil ways from others. We are affected by those around us.

Yet, by nature we all also have the capacity to love greatly, forgive deeply, experience compassion and show immense kindness.

And, from others we can learn to love greatly. We can learn to forgive. We can learn tolerance and appreciation for others and their differences. We can learn to be good.

So, if each one of us has the capacity to love AND to hate, to allow ourselves to be filled with evil AND with good, and to learn from others’ attitudes and judgements, then I have to argue that what it all comes down to is choice.

Because:

I’ve loved.

I’ve hated.

I’ve had good thoughts.

I’ve had seriously disturbing thoughts.

I’ve wanted to show great kindness to people.

I’ve wanted to harm other people.

I’ve wanted to harm myself.

I’ve been nice to people I don’t particularly like.

I’ve been mean to people I do like.

…All because I’m human.

But, because I’m human, each of those situations came down ultimately to my own choosing. Yes, I have been blinded by anger, hatred, jealousy, sadness, pain, passion and even love… but I still chose to go with those feelings and act on them.

My generation has been taught that we are victims to our emotions: That we cannot help how we feel, who we love, how we act in times of rage or lust or pain, or what we crave.
“The heart wants what the heart wants” and “YOLO” (both implying that we should act on impulse and give in to our desires) have been our mottos.

Well, I’m calling it bull.

Instead of teaching our children to give into their whims, to accept every thought and desire that they have as their own and act on it, we should be teaching them that in life nothing is certain  – that the only thing they will ever be able to control is themselves.

We need to teach our children how to manage themselves: how to manage their thoughts, behaviors, and actions. We need to be teaching them that they can be whoever they want to be, that they are in control of their emotions, their actions and reactions.

 

Because DID YOU KNOW:

Everyone experiences self-loathing.

Everyone has thoughts about harming or killing themselves.

Everyone has thoughts about harming another.

Everyone experiences hatred.

Everyone experiences pain and heart-break.

Nobody feels ‘good enough’ all the time. In fact, most people never feel ‘good enough’.

Most people experience lust or anger or jealousy that clouds judgment.

Everyone finds it difficult to respect or tolerate someone they don’t get along with or agree with.

 

These are normal thoughts and emotions. BUT the danger lies when people think that every thought that enters their mind should define them or should be acted on.

The danger is that when someone entertains these thoughts for too long, those thoughts become beliefs. Once they become beliefs, they become actions.

 

Anti-gay hate crime in Ukraine 2012.

Anti-gay hate crime in Ukraine 2012.

We need to teach the next generation that their thoughts do not define them.

We need to tell them that suicide is actually something almost everyone has thought about. Having that thought doesn’t make you suicidal.

We need to tell them that disagreeing with someone doesn’t make them wrong and you right. And it doesn’t make them your enemy.

We need to tell them that people’s religious beliefs, sexual orientations and political views are personal, and they are not for other people to judge.  

We need to tell them that infatuation, passion, lust and feelings of being ‘in love’ are feelings that will fade. Real love, and the kind of love that lasts, is the love you choose and take ownership of.

We need to tell them that every time they experience an emotion or thought, they can choose to keep it or toss it. They need to know they are not slaves to their emotions.

We need to tell them that no one life is superior or inferior to another. They need to know that intelligence, talent, money, beliefs, race and looks are not things that make one life more valuable than another. Those things contribute to making an individual unique, but they in no way make that individual superior or inferior to anyone else.

We need to tell them that there is no such thing as ‘normal’ or ‘standard’ or ‘should be’ when it comes to people – because there is too much diversity in each individual. We need to teach them to see beauty in differences.

We need to teach them value for life. They need to know that the only thing in life that cannot be replaced is life itself.  

We need to teach them that LOVE is more powerful and of more benefit to themselves and everyone else than hatred is. We need to tell them that hatred will only cause them more pain.

Most of all: We need to teach them that they are POWERFUL, and their choices are powerful. We need to teach them that every decision they make – starting with which thoughts they choose to indulge – will have an effect on not only their lives as individuals, but also in the lives of those around them. We need to teach them to consider effects and consequences of their actions before they happen.

We need to get rid of this ‘victim mentality’ in society that says that we are all victims to circumstances. That’s crud.
Each one of us are powerful human beings making choices every moment of every day that effects the rest of the human race in some small (or big) way.

Today, you as a powerful person will make choices. Those choices will lead you on paths of love and life or pain and destruction,

It’s your choice.

But if we are going to make a serious turn-around in society, we need to each start actively seeing ourselves as powerful people making powerful choices every day to love.
And then we need to teach our children and our children’s children how to do the same.

 

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”

 

~Mahatma Gandhi

It all starts with you and me:

Our thoughts.

Our words.

Our actions.

To love ourselves.

To love others.

And to love life.

~To the victims of hate-crimes.

To those who have lost loved ones to hate-crimes, suicide and unjust killings.

 

My prayers and thoughts are with all of you. ~

LET’S STOP THE HATE!

 

 

 

 

 

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