Monday, September 8, 2008

The Sport of Hate


There is one certain symptom that our society has grown weaker. We are feeding off one another.

Values, morals and common decency have all been redefined. This is, perhaps, the natural turn of things. Life is change and, over time, even those seemingly fixed ideas will change as well. We have Amended the Constitution, reappraised our religious beliefs and liberated our sexuality. We have moved from an age of horse drawn carriages into the Space Age. And along the way, our collective conscience seems to have crumbled.

Take a good look at the news, reality tv and movies. You'll find that hatred has entertainment value. It has become a kind of sport.

Haven't you heard what a tramp Britney Spears is? Oh my God! Someone saw her hoo hoo in a magazine. And Paris? What a slut.

Let's see...Donald Trump has terrible hair. Tom Cruise is a nutcase couch jumping Scientologist. Miley Cyrus is a phony. It goes on and on.

Politics and religion don't fare any better of course. George Bush is almost synonymous with self serving idiocy. Bill Oreilly is a bloviating, pontificating, Irish buffoon. McCain is a doddering old man. Obama is an egomaniacal star chaser. And, of course, that all depends on which political party you affiliate yourself with.

Isn't that what we all hear?

Now take a look at your own life. Are you one of the girls who make fun of the fat girls? Do you spend time talking with your friends about someone elses stupidity or ugliness or poor personal choices?

Exactly how many points do you get for doing that?

Whatever happened to 'Love Your Neighbor as Thyself?' If we are really living by the age old 'Golden Rule' and 'doing unto others as we would have them do unto us' then we, as a society, must be some real self-loathing masochists.

Why is it fun to make fun of Britney Spears or Paris Hilton or your sister or the guy across the bar in the bad tie?

Because YOU are insecure. You're afraid to accept the reality that the universe is difficult and dangerous. You would like to order it 'your way.' And so you project your fears outward onto others. They're ugly. They're fat. They're stupid.

That kind of thinking stems from a kind of emotional poverty. Your brain has scammed you into thinking that judgment is the way around feeling anything. You've been hurt before. And it's better to give than to receive right?

Well, actually on that last point...it is.

We humans get conditioned. And more importantly...we condition ourselves. We program ourselves. Therefore, if you are always looking for what's different than yourself in others, or what you consider (because of your programming) something bad then you will simply condition yourself only to look for those things.

In effect...your whole world begins to stand apart from you. It gets uglier or dumber or whatever you happen to be fixating on. You're looking for faces in the clouds...and you're finding them.

Now we all know that this kind of conditioning works both ways. And so it really wouldnt be that much of a stretch for any of us to start looking for what we all have in common...or what is good about the strangers around us who might be on tv, standing on the election podium, or just waiting in traffic up ahead.

This sort of thinking is called Compassion. And lately, its just lost on Americans. Take Britney or Paris for instance. What are most young women doing at the age that Britney or Paris became famous...er infamous? Most of them are finding themselves. They are making collossal mistakes as young ladies that they will learn the hard way not to repeat in later life. They're going out. They're screwing around. Only...they aren't on everyone's nightly news show.

Compassion cuts people slack. It's a kind of understanding that all of us, whoever we are, are just struggling to survive and make the best out of being human in a sometimes very frightening and painful world. Compassion also allows us to find compassion for ourselves and to accept that we arent always the strongest or the best at something...and that we don't really have to be.

It is enough that we are what we are.

Those who have real self esteem dont have to prove themselves to the one inner critic that is most dissatisfied in many of us. They are self aware and also self accepting. For them there is no fun in the Sport of Hate. It is distasteful and they find it limits their ability to love and accept others...which, of course, is a sign of emotional maturity and health.

Make no mistake. Hatred is a sickness. It isnt the same as a simple, primal emotional response like anger. Anger makes sense in some situations, though I dont recommend punching a wall or kicking a table leg to vent some frustration. Hatred is different. In fact, its all about difference. It seperates US from THEM. It creates black and white poles in a world of relativism.

Recently, a lot of people are asking me whether or not I am a Democrat or a Republican. Usually, they base their own opinion staunchly on the Candidate and not the Issues at hand. That's just more of the Sport.

Personally, I like em all...Obama, McCain. I like Britney Spears and Paris Hilton too. I've known some girls like that...the hot girls that everyone just loves to hate. And I've known the reality of it as I've sat with those crying girls trying to get them to shake it all off. Chin up!

Here's a point. Why are we looking up their dresses in the first place? I thought that the people who did that were the ones we should all frown upon!

I dont have any good reason not to like John McCain or Barack Obama. If I have a flat tire someday and Barack Obama and John McCain both stop to help me out then I think I'll like both of them for it. If one of them drives by and the other stops...then I wont hate the other guy. Maybe he had somewhere to go. I'm just glad one of them stopped.

I dont hate Joe Biden or Sarah Palin because they have different ideas than I do. That's ridiculous when I think about it. Because, if absolutely everyone in the world agreed with me on everything...then I would be alone. So I'm glad I have people to argue with from time to time.

After 911, national pride brought a lot of Americans together. Suddenly, everyone was showing off their flags. They were proud to be a Nation. One People.

Back to business as usual now. Did you see the nose on that guy?

You dont have to reach too far to racism, war, murder and genocide when you lose your conscience. There's actually a name for that kind of condition. They call that kind of person a Sociopath.

So many today have walked out of Paradise and straight into their own personal exile as they label and attack everyone who isnt them. They are as fallen as any angel could be. Is this why our society burns with violence, inequality, injustice, ignorance and sorrow?

It's time to find a better game to play.

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