The reality is, our nation is divided by hate. Regardless of political affiliation, “left” or “right,” all hate is the same. Even though you may fight for the conventionally moral decision, it doesn’t give you a pass to act in hatred towards the perpetrators of immorality.
Source Doesn’t Equal Permission
We all agree with one “side” more than another. However, a logical fallacy exists within dispelling one form of hate and condoning another.
Acting in animosity towards those that spew hate does nothing but bring you down to their level. Hate is still hate, regardless of the source.
If your actions align more with belittling the oppressor than helping the oppressed, perhaps some re-evaluation needs to be done.
Finding the Root
Another injustice is plastered across your tv screen. You’re seething and ready to act.
Maybe it’s pithy scathing post on Facebook or perhaps you get a little too aggressive towards that one friend who’s never really aligned with your politics. Take a moment, breathe, and reflect upon the root of these emotions.
Why are you angry? Is it truly because you have a deep-seated hatred for a certain political someone or group, or is it something even more powerful?
When I first asked myself these questions, I began realizing that even politically or societally fueled anger is still a cover emotion. Yes, I vehemently disagreed with many of the decisions taking place in the capital and otherwise, but it was more than just that. I was heartbroken, scared, and felt helpless.
Upon realizing what I was truly experiencing, I noticed that others around me also utilized rampant anger as fuel. I stopped viewing our political realm as us against them. I no longer wanted to be part of this competition where the spoils of victory was simply proving another individual wrong.
It’s easy to lose sight of what to really fight for when there is so much to be angry about. But we must remind ourselves, it’s not about belittling another individual because of their bias or differing opinions, no matter how offensive. It’s about so much more.
Love Trumps Hate
A drive to action fueled by love is tenfold stronger than that rooted in hate.
Of course, you have a right to feel angry, but also strive to address what lies beneath it. Allow your sympathy and subsequent love for those experiencing injustice to fuel your actions, not hatred towards those who may be the cause.
When confronting someone of opposing beliefs, step with compassion. The chances of anyone taking what you have to say to heart if its projected through aggression, are extremely small. On the contrary, speaking with respect and understanding always makes an impact.
Even if the meet your words with anger and criticism, it is at no fault of yours. You haven’t projected that aggression upon them and, therefore, their actions are purely an indication of the shaky ground with which their beliefs are built upon.
Quickly after you shift your perspective and motivation for action, you’ll realize those around you begin to re-evaluate their own.
The amazing thing is that kindness isn’t an opinion or topic up for debate. It is never wrong. So, you may even sway individuals who don’t necessarily agree with your opinions to follow the same path.
Beyond just how you can impact others, shifting from a hate-centric to love-centric ideology frees you from the negativity that trapped you previously. Detesting others only affects your own well-being, clouds your mind and casts a shadow upon your entire life.
Love spreads just as vast but has a much greater affect. You’ll love yourself, others, and life with increasing intensity. Your advocation is no longer a battle but a journey filled with opportunity.
There’s Room for Every Emotion
Sometimes you’ll be angry. That’s okay! Especially when met with irrationality and baseless beliefs, the last thing you want to think or say is “I love this person anyway.”
Allow yourself to feel the full spectrum of emotions because through experiencing them they will all lead you back to love. Whereas if you force yourself into “feeling” positive, it’s not genuine and will falter when you need to rely on it most.
This shift most likely won’t be anything dramatic and doesn’t have to be. Your loving and positive emotions were probably your initial reason for advocating for your beliefs, but one can only experience so much negativity before it seeps into their own motivations.
Just remember, always try and come back to love, embrace compassion, for that is what we need more than anything right now.
Cover image via Aviva Romm0
Also published on Medium.