A Lesson I’ve Learned

There is so much hate in our world.

That thought has crossed my mind so many times this year, but I refuse to accept it. As I finished that last pages of Confessions of an Economic Hitman, I started to cry. At first it was a few tears, but soon they turned to tears of grief. They were not the tears that come at the end of a good book that you don’t want to end. At the end of this book by John Perkins, all I could focus on was the hate and how badly it was embedded in our culture and the world: people starving because our money is being used to finance wars; strife between different political or religious beliefs causing acts of violence.

At the end of this book, I was disheartened, to say the least. How could our world even begin to change when the global, national, local, and personal platforms were saturated with hate and distrust? I have witnessed the teasing of an old high school classmate. I have read about the conflicts in Ukraine and Venezuela. I have heard the hateful things spewed by BOTH sides of the political spectrum in the United States.

I have never contested that there are also good and decent things happening in our world. I witnessed a huge amount of aid go to the Philippines after a natural disaster. I cheered on Batkid. I have made new, life-long friendships, and I have experienced joy over small things. However, I still wonder if our world will always be run by hate? When will the news headlines no longer speak of terrorist attacks, dying soldiers and civilians, and hate crimes?

I don’t know the answer to this question, but I do know what I can do. I can focus on the good and celebrate the wonderful things happening in our small world. I can be careful with the word “hate.” It is a strong word and I sometimes forget what hate has done and what, as a word, it has been associated with. I can refrain from tearing down other people, when I could be focusing on my own behavior and words. By no means do I do all these things. Hate is so engrained in our culture, it will be a slow removal process, but I can be aware and at least start down that road.

Would it be too much if I asked you to join me? Please consider it. Think about the unjust words you’ve spoken recently or something mean that you’ve done. Don’t hate yourself for it or feel guilty, but acknowledge it. Next time, maybe it won’t happen. That’s all I can ask of you at this time, but I think it’s a start.