“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
You know one thing we love? We love to throw around hate.
On my drive into Northern Kentucky this morning, I was listening to a talk show on Fox Sports Radio. I am not quite sure who the hosts were, but in the short time I listened, I must have heard them talk about 5-10 people that they just hated simply because of some sort of adverse affiliation to their team. One of them even said, “Oh, I still want to kill (certain player).”
I know I have previously delved into this topic, but it really strikes a chord with me.
Why have we allowed this behavior, this hate to become acceptable?
The words we speak about other athletes or other friends in jest are classified by many as simply being in jest or playful ribbing. Oftentimes, it goes too far.
We believe that we can turn it off and on like a switch, and maybe some can. However, the worst part of this behavior comes from the kids who sit within earshot and hear all of the negative, hateful, and downright mean things we say about other people or athletes. We may be able to pass it off as in jest or being funny (well…”trying” to be), but do they know the difference? These kids then act in the same way because someone else has showed them this is acceptable.
I am reminded of a scene in the movie, 42, where Jackie Robinson comes to play in Cincinnati at Crosley Field. A father and his young son were sitting in the stands watching when the father began berating Jackie Robinson with hateful, derogatory, and racist comments. The little boy sat there at first not knowing what to do, but eventually because his father was doing it, he started shouting those same words.
Again, I ask…when did this behavior become acceptable and why do we continually gloss over it like it is not a big deal? It is a big deal!
We learn this from watching others and seeing others. We learn from what the actions of others teach us and tell us are acceptable. We would not want want someone else saying these things to us or our loved ones, would we? But, saying these things to or about someone else is ok?
When we start modeling and teaching love and compassion, those around us will begin to act the same way. We can take small steps, but collectively, we could make a major difference.
There are plenty of people throwing hate around in this world. Don’t add to the problem. Counter the hate by teaching and practicing love and compassion. It will make the world a better place for you and all those around you. Plus, you will be setting a great example in the process.
Bring your best today!