When we do not understand or know something—basically something we’ve never experienced before—it makes us uncomfortable. And that discomfort is not pleasant at all because we rely on understanding the world around us to survive so anything unanswered could threaten that survival…so…
…that ignorance becomes fear..
Fear is perfectly natural until we ask questions and discover details about it and how it affects our lives, negatively or positively. These questions and answers very soon quickly dispel the fear we feel. Sometimes, however, there are no direct answers to the questions because either we don’t have access to people with answers, or we don’t know how to ask the right questions….and when the thing we fear has been unknown for long enough, we become angry at our discomfort of not knowing…and…
…our fear becomes anger.
Because it is very difficult to be angry at ourselves, we turn the anger outward and focus it on the thing that is the unknown, the thing we fear. We become angry at it for making us so goddamn uncomfortable that we forget and completely dismiss that our anger is merely because we don’t know…that our questions were never asked or answered. When we have been angry long enough, at both the frustration of the unresolved internal conflict as well as the additional uncertainly added about why it’s still unresolved…
…anger becomes hatred.
This is what drives racism, sexism, homophobia, nationalism, and on and on and it’s not because people are intentionally assholes and jerks (well not the majority), but because when they looked for answers, there were none. Or, they grew up with the understanding that there were no answers (and they taught their children the same, over and over) therefore they just didn’t ask questions…they accept the fear, anger and hatred…simply as a part of life.
So…the response to stopping hatred is not simply love…
The thing, almost the only thing, that will solve the problems we have related to hatred, fear and anger is education and the ability to provide answers—real answers, not made-up shit to fit an agenda—when people ask questions.
At that moment, when people are deciding whether to fear something or not, there are really only two courses of action to take;
- Continue to fear out of ignorance, or,
- Remove the ignorance so that love remains.
Because love has not gone anywhere…
…like a mask, it’s just been living under layers and layers of hate.
Believe. Go. Do.