I wake up each day and thank God for the opportunity to walk a path worthy of His blessing. Today, I awoke and saw the news from Las Vegas that at least 50 people are dead and over 400 injured from the largest mass shooting in American history.
Upon hearing the news, I felt like Iron Eyes Cody in the PSA, Keep America Beautiful, where he had a teardrop because of the pollution he saw. Mine is for us and the hatred we sow day after day.
Hatred is inside each of us. There are many in this world who don’t try to address it, but instead, shamefully slam it out on others. And some of those people falsely see that hatred as strength.
Hatred is an ancient human feeling that has lead to immense suffering and death over the millennia. There are even neuroscientists who study how the brain operates in a state of hatred toward another. Indicative of this problem, one brain study shows that when we hate we are obsessive-compulsive and judgmental. A tremendously bad combination if there ever was one.
It is up to us to make the change individually, as a society, and as humanity.
First, ask yourself why you are so angry? Psychologists state that our own hatred is fear of “The Other”, fear of ourselves, self-loathing, and more.
What has happened to you that you feel this way? Simply addressing the hatred begins the process of minimizing it.
But when people feed it, now it is a problem for other people.
Here in the United States, we have free speech. We have a shameful history of pitting people against “The Other” to redirect from our real problems onto someone not like us, tapping into ancient tribalism that someone different might be a threat. Instead of dealing with the actual problems at hand, it is easier to blame some Other for what ails us.
Right now, we have a president doing that. Blame the Mexicans, blame the Muslims, blame the people of Puerto Rico, look everywhere else but inward. It has rallied many people to hate in a way I’ve never seen in my lifetime. I’ll get hate messages just for writing this.
President Trump’s method of blaming others has successfully been used by autocrats and dictators around the world for millennia, with varying levels of success beyond the short term.
I’m genuinely scared for our country right now. So many people are full of hate. The mass murderer in Las Vegas was undeniably full of hate. We don’t know why and may never know why he acted upon his hatred this way.
But, I do know this. Standing idly by won’t help. Quietly allowing others to preach hatred won’t help. Being scared silent won’t help.
Now is the time to use love, knowledge, and our voice to stand up to hate from all corners like we’ve never had to do before.
Love is the most important piece. Love wins in the end. Love is light. Love is good. Love is the antidote to hatred.
Knowledge is the data behind the communication. Get your facts straight first (I’ve taken the Pro-Truth Pledge). Having accurate information is critical to the message getting through. Otherwise, people filled with hatred will focus on the one little point you might have wrong instead of the bigger context of the message.
Our voice must be used individually and collectively to counter hatred. Whether it is one-on-one with a friend or family member, in a Facebook group, or on the radio, whatever the medium and audience, now is the time to use your voice. I’ll use mine and now I need you to use yours.
Together we can make a difference shining light in this darkness. Always leading with love, from a source of knowledge, our voice can ring clear to part the clouds. Now is the time to face down hatred while we pray, think of, and help the victims in Las Vegas.