Over the past few weeks I have observed the word hate creep back into my thoughts. It hasn’t been in relation to people, just to things or situations, I hate it when…(and not in the funny Billy Crystal on SNL kinda way.) Hate is a word I had eradicated from my vocabulary because I don’t like to carry the energy of it in my body and because words have such power.
I honestly think that the reappearance of it in my mind is related to the negativity surrounding the political campaigns across the country, specifically the presidential campaign. And it’s not just the politicians. There is a sad lack of civility in our political debate. It is always the other side is wrong and my side is right. There is very rarely a discussion of what we have in common or even a civil discussion of differences. I often think that children behave better than adults do when it comes to politics (or sports but that’s a different matter), though I have even seen the divisiveness of the debate process spill over onto my daughter as she watched them for her Civics class.
I was sad to see that I had let it touch me too, that I had become part of the problem. By even thinking that word I was adding the energy of it to the world around me. What energy it is too. Look at some of the synonyms for hate; loathe, execrate, despise, abhor, detest, abominate. (I had to look up execrate! It's not a nice word.) It feels uncomfortable just looking at those words let alone the feeling of directing them at something. And think of all the people directing thoughts of hate or loathing at each other right now or at the presidential candidates. How overwhelming. No wonder it wandered into my thoughts.
Now I’m inviting it to wander right back out of my thoughts. I liked it when the word hate was not one that crossed my mind or entered my heart. I don’t know how or why people choose to live with that word inside themselves. There is a heaviness that comes with hatred, a force that is directed at others. Imagine all the force of all the hatred that is being focused in our country right now. What are we creating?
I must choose differently. You have my apologies for the hate that I added to the world over the past couple weeks, even if it was just hating that the light turned red or the slowness of the internet connection. Think of all the millions of people that could have been touched by it if the energy of that hate could travel through the bits and bytes of cyberspace to others. I shudder to think.
I will focus on civility, on love. I will do my best to hold thoughts and use words that create a positive force in the world. I will return to my own personal Campaign Pledge 2012. I sit with the idea of that pledge almost every morning after I wake up, but I will try to return my focus to it throughout the day, especially over the next two weeks.
My reason is simple and really Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said it best, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”