There is too much hate in the world.
That is the only conclusion a reasonable person can draw when reading, watching or listening to the news.
On Tuesday, a man with a hammer attacked a police officer in Paris, near Notre Dame Cathedral. The man was shot and wounded.
On Saturday, three men killed seven people and injured 50 others in London. They ran over some people in a van, then jumped out and began stabbing and slashing others.
Last month a suicide bomber killed 23 people and injured 119 others as fans were leaving an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.
Also in May a man began yelling hateful things at a pair of women witnesses described as Muslim while all were riding on a light-rail train in Portland, Ore. Two men came to the women’s defense and tried to calm the angry man, but he wound up stabbing and killing them both.
On Monday in Orlando, Fla., a disgruntled former employee returned to his former workplace and killed five people before he took his own life.
Last week in Kabul, Afghanistan, a truck bomb killed more than 150 people.
On average, there are 44 people murdered every day in the United States.
In Georgetown, Texas, a 12-year-old African-American middle school student was recently called an “ape” and a “slave” by fellow students, who also pretended to whip her.
There is too much hate in the world.
The problem is it is too darn easy to hate. All we have to do is focus on our differences instead of our commonality and hate comes naturally. Hate fills the vacuum left by a dearth of common sense and common decency.
If someone doesn’t look, act, worship, sound, vote or believe the same way we do, we hate them.
Hate speech is the stock and trade of those who foster terror in the name of religion. A purveyor of jihad named Abu Hamza Al-Amriki recently made a video urging terrorists to kill Americans. “Are you incapable of stabbing a Kafir (infidel) with a knife, throwing him off a building, or running him over with a car?” Al-Amriki asked. “Liberate yourself from hellfire by killing a kafir.” The mind boggles at the irony of the fact American missiles named Hellfire have ended the lives of so many of Al-Amriki’s radical colleagues.
Nonetheless, Al-Amriki’s words are disturbing and reprehensible. Now consider these words from first-term congressman Clay Higgins of Louisiana, speaking of Muslims suspected of plotting terror. “Hunt them, identify them and kill them. Kill them all. For the sake of all that is good and righteous. Kill them all.”
What’s the difference? Hate, it seems, is in the eye of the beholder.
Hate is the single most useless, most destructive human emotion. Hate serves no useful purpose. Hate doesn’t nurture, doesn’t encourage, doesn’t promote understanding, doesn’t build.
The Bible calls on us to love our enemies, but that doesn’t mean we have to fall deeply in love with them. That simply means we should open our hearts to them.
There’s also the matter of respect. Why can’t we all respect each other’s right to live life the way we see fit, whether we see eye to eye or not?
But it is far easier to hate than to love. Hate is seductive, insidious, intoxicating. Hate is a difficult habit to break.
It is, however, high time we try. We must seek common ground rather than focusing on differences. We need to try getting along instead of simply lashing out.
Is this the world we want to leave to our children, a world of hate?
The world will never be perfect, there always will be those that hate, but the more we work to promote understanding and cooperation the more hate and those who preach its gospel will suffer.
We all bleed, we all hurt, we all cry. We’re all just human beings, with all our faults and frailties. We must remind ourselves of these facts daily.
Love your neighbor a bit too much to ask? How about just leaving him alone to live his life while you live yours?