By Dr. John E. Warren, Publisher, The San Diego Voice & Viewpoint Newspaper | “Stop The Hate, Spread The Love” are powerful words that convey the idea that we all should be able to get along. But the reality is that it takes more than just words to bring about the desired change in so much of our national attitudes and consciousness. We know that hate is rooted in the idea that the person or persons or groups hating are “better” than the objects of their hate and that those who are the objects of such hate, must first be dehumanized to justify the less than human feelings and attitudes against them.
Perhaps the answer has always been just in the mirror as we look at ourselves. One of the two golden rules that Jesus taught carries the answer. Simply that “We should love our neighbors as we love ourselves.” Another way of stating this is that we should treat others as we would have them treat us. How many people do we know who actually hate themselves? We know that some do and that those have been diagnosed with mental problems.
While many people argue against religion even being mentioned outside of calls for a National Day of Prayer when disaster strikes, because of false assumptions about the Separation of Church and State, the reality is that prayer and prayer gatherings where people pray one for another, offset violent responses to acts of hate and harm from others engaged in such conduct. The Civil Rights demonstrations in which we saw peaceful gatherings met with dogs and high pressure water hoses as well as violence, revealed that the failure to meet hatred and violence with hatred and violence, won out in the end. Those being beaten were not loving the people beating them, but they were not giving the desired response to justify the continuation of the inhumane treatment they were receiving.
We spread the love by doing what Jesus did when he said “Father forgive them, for they know not what they are doing” Sometimes, “forgiving” is harder than fighting. The solution is encouraging the development of personal reflections on the harm and inhumanity that is inflicted on others when we respond in hatred to that which either we do not understand, dislike or have a fear of because of the difference we see in someone else.
Yes, it takes more to “Stop The Hate and Spread The Love” than just saying it. It takes self examination as to how we want others to treat us and realizing we must give that same treatment and respect because the objects of our thoughts are just as human as we are.