The hate energy

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, June 25, 2019, 10:30 PM | comments: 0

I've seen a lot of musicals in the last six months about not hating on people. Dear Evan Hanson was about kids who struggle to fit in. The Prom was about letting go of your dislike for that "LGBQ-teen" who wants to bring her girlfriend to the dance. Come From Away best shows the ability of humans to come together in extraordinary times of crisis. It takes place in Gander, Newfoundland, Canada, on the week of 9/11, when 38 planes are diverted there with 7,000 people aboard from all over the world, stuck in a town that only had 9,000 to start with. Spoiler alert: They make it work.

We stayed for a talk-back after the show when it came to Orlando, and one of the leads, who plays a gay Californian and an Egyptian man in the show, told us the story about one of his best high school friends. The friend was an all-star athlete, adored by his classmates... until 9/11. As the child of Pakistani parents, he was immediately viewed as a pariah in his community, for no other reason than his religion and his parents origin. The actor believes that playing that role, of the Egyptian that some don't wish to understand, honors his high school friend.

As terrible as 9/11 was, for awhile at least, people seemed willing to take care of each other. President Bush at the time made an impassioned speech about the need to not cast Muslims as terrorists, because, "In our anger and emotion, our fellow Americans must treat each other with respect." Heck, it was kind of like that after Irma a few years ago, around the neighborhood, even though it was mostly issues of debris, down trees and minor roof damage. People helped each other out when things were hard.

Now, there's so much energy put into hate and distrust. Politicians want you to hate brown people and rich people, depending on the side of the aisle they align with. Some crazy assholes are calling for gay people to be executed by the government, on behalf of their church, no less. Racism is persisting among young people, the ones I would expect least likely to engage in such behavior. Women are still trivialized in all kinds of professions as inferior. This is all going on in 2019.

I try not to be judgmental toward these people, but it's hard not to. I don't know where they find the energy for it. First of all, I can objectively observe that none of these groups of people pose any threat to me. (Dear white, straight, men: You've always had it better than everyone else, and you still do.) Given this condition of non-threat, I see even less reason to possibly spend any time using my valuable energy toward hating anyone, with the exception of willfully ignorant people, because that's a choice. I mean, imagine how freeing it would be if you could let go of the psychic cost of expressing hate. There are no useful outcomes for expressing hate. None.

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