A bridge over a beautiful waterfall

A bridge over a beautiful waterfall
Nature brings magic

Monday, September 1, 2014

Are we born to hate, and can we change?

A brief update on the goal front. I got over 21k between the 24th and yesterday. So I'm making some progress on Marked. It's going places I didn't think it would but I'm glad for it because it makes things more interesting.

I saw a post on Facebook showing a picture of a blond, curly haired little girl and a dark skinned, black haired little girl standing cheek to cheek. The caption says something like “Love is there from the beginning. Hate is taught.” If not that, something very similar. That made me think: is hate taught? Do we start out hating someone at birth? Are we hard wired for hate? Or are we hard wired for love, and our families and our environment train us to hate?

I fully believe that no child is born hating another person. It is what a child experiences in their lives that enforces the belief that certain things are bad, and those that are/do those certain things are bad as well. Racism is one of the biggest ones, as is bigotry – whether that is religious, political, or a mixture of any and all forms of it – and the desire to make oneself seem better than someone else by expressing their virtues or successes.

There are people out there who are gifted in different things. They are better than me at those things. That doesn't mean as a person they're better than me. Just as I'm better at certain things than other people. I'm not better than them. I have different skills.

I had a friend who grew up in the deep south. Racism against blacks was so much a part of her upbringing that she didn't think anything of being casually racist against another one of my other friends. I was brought up to believe that everyone was equal. So I was horrified by her comments. The fact that my southern friend saw nothing wrong with it and my African American friend was used to it appalled me. I couldn't do anything to change their views on things, and eventually I got away from them as I couldn't take the negativity in my life, but that has stuck with me since I was a child in the 4th grade.

Another example for you. Himself is brilliant. He learns quickly, retains knowledge fairly easily, and can make friends with little to no effort. I'm not as intelligent as he is, I learn slowly, and I forget things as often as I remember them. I also have a hard time socializing with people face to face enough to make a friend. But does this mean Himself is better than me?

A year ago I'd have said yes. I never would have believed that he wasn't. But that was a year ago. A lot has changed in that year and now I have a little more of a sense of self-worth than I did. And my answer to that question now is no it doesn't. Is he better at certain things than me? Yes, of course. Am I better at certain things than him? Yes, of course. We're separate people after all. We're going to have different strengths and weaknesses.

That's what people need to remember. No one is better than any other, only different in their capabilities. We may not all be equal in the eyes of the world, but in truth we are. If only people could see things that way, perhaps there would be no more need for war. People would be putting their efforts into helping better the lives of everyone else. Those who excel in one facet or another should be recognized but I don't think they should be turned – for all intents and purposes – into gods that we need to bow down before.

There needs to be more talk of equality for everyone. What happened in Ferguson, what happens all the time around the nation, needs to stop. People shouldn't fear for their lives when the cops showed up based on the color of their skin. Or their poverty level.
I'm a bit idealistic. I still think we can make the changes needed for a more peaceful world. It's a naïve way to look at things, and one that gets me laughed at in a lot of places. But I need that little bit of hope to get me through the rough times. Or I think I'd go mad thinking that how it is now is all it will ever be.

1 comment:

  1. Amen to all that! I think you're idealism is good. We need people to think this way because if we don't then nothing changes–in fact, it might get worse.