As much as I like my posts to be positive, or at least informative, this topic has been on my mind for a while. I’m old enough to remember the Age of Aquarius, peace-love-dope and The Beatles singing ‘All You Need is Love’ to the entire world. It was possibly a reaction to the black days of the Cuban missile crisis but I remember it as being a time of hope, a time when everyone seemed to buy into the idea that the only way forward for the human race was to get on with each other.
We seem to be living in the polar opposite of those times. For ‘Peace’ read ‘Turmoil’, for ‘Love’ read ‘Hate’.
The haters have reopened old cracks in our societies and then added some new ones. The old ones – racism, misogyny, hatred of anyone different including gay and disabled people – have been added to – ‘cancel culture’, ‘war on woke’, ‘Antifa’, ‘the replacement theory’ – all of which are lies designed for the sole purpose of making people angry. ‘Red meat for the base’. We also have the ridiculous ‘Incel’ movement. A group of toxic males whose main gripe is that women won’t have sex with them. As I said, ridiculous.
Of course, all of the above has made many in the centre and on the left angry too. Hate and anger can open up a big crack in our societies and, if we’re not careful, we can all fall inside them. So what can you do?
Don’t hate back – Hate only becomes a mountain because we all throw our pebbles of anger on its top. Anyway, haters love a reaction, ‘owning the libs’ and all that. Don’t give it to them. It’s like watching a small child having a tantrum, if you give them what they want then they will keep doing it.
Do not vote for or support extremists of any stripe – Extreme views on one side can cause the other side to become more extreme in their views. If a politician is against compromise and consensus politics then they are part of the problem.
Do what you can – If you can change laws or protest in some way then do it but, for many of us living ordinary lives, we feel helpless when it comes to battling this tidal wave of hate. Yet, if we can build a mountain of hate, we can also build a mountain with our pebbles of love and acceptance . Small acts of kindness can mean a lot, especially to those who are bearing the brunt of hatred.
Keep a peaceful mind – Many of us feel that we have very little power to change things but how we react to this torrent of bile is totally our choice. If we allow this to disturb our peace of mind then the haters have won. I try to only look at the news a couple of times a day and, if it makes me boil with anger, I just close the page and try to put the anger in a box and get on with my day. To my surprise, it sometimes works.
I have begun to think that, if enough people in the world can maintain their peace of mind, then we might get back on track to a more human and humanitarian global society.
I make no apology for inserting this wonderful image from Stuart Hampton.