The Human Race has had a very rough time of it lately. We’ve been unable to help people who hate, unable to reach them with love, and unable to help them be better people. We watched animals, rare and endangered, put to death and then gotten mad at anyone who didn’t see it our way. There is one way only to look at all these events. They are not good or bad. They simply are. We decide how to label them, and that decision can lead us into hating.
Do not think for the slightest second that I condone any of the killings and hate crimes going on around the world. My goal is to help balance emotions so that wisdom can come to the forefront. As writers, yes, we want to evoke feelings in ourselves as well as in our readers. But if we don’t understand those emotions and have a base of balance from which to explore them, we can go too far into purple prose or uninteresting scenes. We have to have balance.
I had the pleasure of listening to The Zookeeper’s Wife, transported as always by good writing to Poland in 1939. As a race, we still don’t understand how some people could lie to themselves in order to make killing people okay. And not just killing them, but doing unspeakable things, including to women and children. The poignant side of the story is how many lives of Jews were saved by non-Jews who saw the horror and wanted to stand against it.
Psychologists are exploring the reason people can do this to other people. http://www.fastcodesign.com/3022306/asides/why-we-hate One theory based on evolution suggests that the most fierce warriors could wipe out whole competing tribes and protect their own reproductive futures. Plausible but not a hopeful outlook. Is it impossible for humans to become peaceful?
In fiction, mostly science fiction movies and television, the danger of losing all aggressions is clear and present. In the original Star Trek Series, Captain Kirk was divided into two beings, his softer side and his super alpha side. Rape and murder versus indecision and self-doubt. Which proposes that Kirk in his normal combination is balanced.
At the end of the movie Serenity, based on the TV show Firefly, (SPOILER ALERT) the crew discovers that the gas used to keep colonists calm and peaceful made them forget to eat or do much of anything. They just laid down where they were and died. Peacefully, of course. And the flip side, the ones who reacted badly to the chemicals became savage Reavers.
Here are other fascinating approaches to studying hate and why it exists. http://www.care2.com/greenliving/why-do-we-hate-and-judge-others.html
While there isn’t enough data to confirm any one theory on why we hate, we do have the individual ability to change our own thoughts and outlook. The popular song, Let There Be Peace on Earth, goes on to ask, Let it Begin with Me. I can’t change how the person driving ahead of me reacts to the roadwork slowing us down, but I can smile and shrug and take the events as they happen. Not good. Not bad. They just are. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Thursday.