“I HATE YOU!!!!” are words all of us have heard at some point in our lives. And they cut to our very core. But what is hate…really…and what causes it?

Ideology?–as in hatred between democrats and republicans? Religion?–as in hatred between fundamentalist Christians and fundamentalist Muslims? Or is it personal and guttural as in hatred one feels toward an abusive parent or a former loved who betrayed you?

Whatever its cause, hate is powerful. We’re told it’s the flipside of love, but in reality it is a visceral expression of deep-seeded anguish.

So how does one combat this; how does one deflect it when it is so prevalent in our current times and world? Buddha said, “Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule.” Years later, Jesus of Nazareth said, “Love your enemies. Pray for those who hurt you. Then you will be acting as children of God” Years after that, Gandhi said, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Perhaps if we could attempt to cease hatred–be it big or small–with acts of love;  perhaps if we could love and pray for those whom hurt us, then perhaps, we could become the change this world is so desperately crying out for in such primal ways, and perhaps we could even pave the road to change.

1 Comment

  1. Karen

    Your thoughts on acts of love – to replace hate with love truly resonates with me! I love the books “Living Buddha, Living Chrst” and “Anger” – both by Thich Nhat Hanh. He talks about “the Six Concords of community living: sharing space, sharing the essentials of daily life, observing the same precepts, using only words that contribute to harmony,sharing our insights and understandings, and respecting each other’s viewpoints”. I’m, interested in your comment on what causes hate. Do you think fear is also a reason humans express hate?

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