That doesn't mean hate wasn't busy messing up the world before now. It has. But now it is in my living room, on my computer screen, in my newspapers, almost anywhere I look there is hate.
People with guns parading on the streets of America proclaiming hate is just not what I ever though would happen here.
I know that bigotry and hate are nothing new. But it now seems to have taken on a life of its own and begun to wash over everything. People who hate have been embolden to shout their hate openly, without masks, and wearing weapons.
If you are filled with hate for someone or some thing, it will just eat you alive. It will gobble up your energy and kill your spirit. You will only be able to see things through the window of your hate.
It would be easy to take on the hate of others, to hate them back. Hating the haters only makes you one of them. You deserve better than that. And the people in your life deserve better than that.
"Hate is: Judgement Directing Anger" [https://personaltao.com/teachings/healing/resolving-feelings-of-hate/] This is an insightful way to examine hate. Anger is at the bottom of hate. And judgement focuses it in the direction of whom or that which we judge.
I'm using "judgement" in the Biblical sense here. We all have to make judgments every day about who or what to trust, of course. But in the sense of judging whether a person is good or evil is a different kind of judgement. When we take on the burden of determining a person's spirit we take on the burden of being a God, and that is indeed a heavy burden.
I believe that people can do evil things. I worked in prisons for nearly twenty years. I worked with men who had done very evil things. But I think I only met two men that seemed to embody evil. And as a therapist there was little I could do to change that. Only spiritual healing can rid evil from a person's soul.
So exploring hate can begin with exploring or examining the anger. Anger is a secondary emotion that comes from fear or pain. It is why you want to curse when you hit your thumb with the hammer. It is why you become angry when you fear losing something important to you. Anger can be used constructively, of course. But hate cannot. Hate only destroys.
And when I see people expressing hate I realize that they are angry. They are angry about perceived loss. They are angry about their suffering. They are afraid.
It seems to me that the best way for us to diminish hate is to address the needs of those folks. They are afraid. They are afraid of losing their power or status or security or identity. They need our compassion. Like children who are angry and afraid they need comfort and courage to confront the changes they are experiencing. When you meet a child's tantrum with aggression things get worse instead of better. When you discover what the child is afraid of you can better deal with the anger.
Now that doesn't mean we should not call out those who are acting in destructive ways. Of course their behaviors must have natural and reasonable consequences. But it means that we don't have to see them through the lens of hate. And our lives don't have to be destroyed by us taking on their hate.
We are in a very difficult time. We need to keep ourselves safe while we resist the forces against us. We need to keep our inner selves free of hate. And we need to use our anger to resist without violence. Only then can we win over hate.