Hate. Our world is full of it. The news is full of it. Sometimes you and I may be full of it, too - hate or something else.
Whenever the latest hate-induced tragedy strikes, one of my first reactions is often of overwhelming helplessness. The hate in this world seems so pervasive and intense that there is nothing I can do about it. And that no one else can, either.
Can hate ever be stopped? Law enforcement, politicians and theologians might provide the same answer, but from vastly different viewpoints.
To believe hate can be stopped in this world is to believe in a utopia or a Pollyanna perspective. I don't buy into kumbayaing in lieu of realistic actions or expectations, either.
Hate can not completely be stopped. There is and always will be evil, but that doesn't mean it can't be diminished, and at times defeated.
It also doesn't mean we have to wait for the other guy to stop hating to decrease the amount of hate in our world.
It seems there is plenty of opportunity within ourselves to diminish our own hate, whether or not we acknowledge we ourselves are haters.
I like to think I'm usually a fairly reasonable person, not given to extreme ways of thinking or reacting to other humans. But there are times I fail, including recently. My emotions get in the way. Menopausal hormones do not help. Just sayin'.
I'm working on it.
What can we do as individuals when our world seems at the mercy of hate-filled humans?
1. Don't jump on other people's bandwagons. Whether acknowledged or not, everyone has their own agenda, driven by their past experiences and perspectives. It may drive them to hate other individuals or whole groups of people. Their issues are not yours. If you choose to make them yours, first ask yourself why you feel you need to carry their banner. Maybe it's a legit cause; maybe it's not. If in doubt, repeat after me, "Not my circus, not my monkeys.".
2. Don't fall into group think. Think for yourself. Group think is such a pervasive and dangerous force in our country in recent years. It can turn otherwise intelligent people into robotic parrots. Unfortunately, it too often happens in political groups and religious organizations. In families, too. Group think can easily transform into group hate. There are times for cohesiveness, but there are times when group think simply seems to be the easy way to belong. Instead, ask questions, research issues from unbiased sources, and come to your own conclusions. Don't rely on a testimonial from the 'sales person.'
3. Don't lump all people into a negative category simply because you've experienced an example or two of supposed evidence that 'supports' your hate. There are good and bad people in every demographic and grouping. There are few people and groups who can fit neatly into 'all good' or 'all bad,' including me and you. Rude awakening, I know.
4. Do give the benefit of the doubt. Maybe you don't have the whole story. Maybe you do. Until you dig into it and hear the other person or perspective, you may be creating issues where they don't exist, or don't need to exist. Maybe the person isn't capable of living up to your expectations, Keep an open mind when attempting to determine if their thinking or behavior was within their capability to control. We don't all have the same abilities. There is no reason to hate someone because they weren't fortunate enough to have your gifts and background.
5. Do examine your own outlook. Some people live with hate and negativity as their default setting. It may be hard to admit this one to yourself. But if it's true, you're doing yourself and everyone around you a disservice by not admitting it, or taking steps to change it. If this identity is the one you've adopted, you can un-adopt it and intentionally choose a more constructive identity. Everyone around you will thank you, whether or not they verbally express it.
6. Do detach. It's not all about you. People are far more interested in themselves than in you. By hating others, you willingly give them a place of importance in your life. You're thinking about them far more than they're thinking about you. All that time and energy spent on hating others means you're not spending that same time and energy more constructively on your own life or work. Bam. Instant productivity-enhancer.
7. Remember your own fallibility. You know those excuses you give yourself for your own behavior? Give the other person the same amount of grace - not hate. None of us has it all together, as much as we might want to give that impression, especially professionally. But underneath it all, all of us are glorious messes. There is someone who chooses not to give you grace for your screw ups. Be better than them. Have grace for others, and lead the way.
The world has enough darkness, negativity and hate in it without your contributions or mine.. To make a difference, do the difficult thing. Counter the existing negativity by not participating in it. The world needs you to help lead it into a more positive light.
One small flicker from a candle fills a darkened room with light. Be that. Do that. Shine on.
Need more positive words to keep going, Step by Step? Subscribe to Kris Harty's weeklyish newsletter to automatically receive her blogs in your inbox. Sign up in the sidebar to the right. Simple easiness.
Like or share this post using the social media icons below.
Sign up for my newsletter
(c) 2014-2016 Kris Harty shortCHICK, llc All rights reserved.
TEXT / Call 970.445..GRIT (4748) | Colorado Springs, Colorado