TASK #4: LET’S TALK ABOUT HATE
“Let no man pull you so low as to hate him.” Dr. Martin Luther King
This friend of mine sent me a TED talk. I don’t normally listen to TED talks because I think some of the TED speakers are in love with sound of their own voices. They stopping talking TO you, and they starting talking AT you. I don’t like that. It’s what I hate about television–it’s an experience that is far too passive–you sit, they talk and you can’t talk back. But I digress…
This TED talk was given by an older man, a Quaker, who took in a young African American teenage girl and raised her as his own. He instilled in her the core basic Quaker tenets that there is a God in every person and acknowledging that non-violence is the path to righteousness. The young woman, imbued and blessed with these beliefs, was accosted by a drug addict. She not only refused to defend herself, she offered to pray with the man. And she was murdered.
The old man was consumed by hate. He said that the hate became a poison, and it began to fester in his psyche. He wanted to inject the poison into the man that killed his daughter.
It goes on from there, and it wouldn’t be a TED talk if it wasn’t redemptive–the old man stopped hating and forgave the man who killed his daughter and even visited him in prison.
What stuck with me was the “hatred as poison” theme.
Because today is inauguration day, and I am overwhelmed with hate. I want to be clear: I have no beef with my brothers who voted for Trump– your opinion is respected and your vote is sacred, but for me, he is a dangerous clown…and like the old Quaker, my hate mutated into poison, and I’ve spent the last few weeks spitting up vile on my family and friends.
It had to stop–not just my animus towards Trump, but my tendency to let hate into my head, then my heart. So I came up with this simple task.
You have to come clean about what you hate, and why. And you have to pull out your notebook and write it down. For me, I started with the minor league hates, like spinach and almonds and linoleum and aluminum bats and dog shit, and middling hates like condoms and diamond lanes and comforters and fanny packs (yeah, I know they’re gone but I still hate them), and then there are the deep seated hates, the ones that go to the core, the ones I have to face, and eliminate, like how I feel about some people…
That’s what you have to do. Write it all down. And as with the other Tasks, you are under no obligation to show them to anyone, but if you want to write me about them, I’m around–[email protected]
Photo by Martin Greffe and courtesy of Joe Doe