Many of us recognize that HATE is the in-play factor of much that is happening in today’s society.
Hate towards blacks. Hate towards gays. Hate towards immigrants. Hate towards atheists. Hate towards Muslims. Hate towards “liberals.” Hate towards the poor. Hate towards …. you-name-it.
In fact, when push comes to shove, no one and/or no group is excluded from being the target of Hate.
It’s difficult to accept, but ALL of us hold Hate in our hearts towards someone or something. Sometimes this “Hate” can be beneficial in that it serves as a protective device. However, in most cases, it is actually harmful — not only to others, but to our own psyche as well.
Of course it’s natural for us to claim: “I don’t Hate! I just intensely dislike (something or someone).” However, note the following definitions of Hate:
- (Verb) Dislike intensely; feel antipathy or aversion towards
- (Noun) The emotion of intense dislike; a feeling of dislike so strong that it demands action
What prompted this post is an article I recently came across on the Psychology Today website. It’s entitled (surprise!) The Psychology of Hate. One of the opening statements referenced a study that said there are at least 917 organized hate groups in the United States!
It then asks the question: Why do we hate?
While the reasons are complex, the article expands on some of the factors that play a role:
- Fear of “The Other”
- Fear of Ourselves
- Lack of Self-Compassion
- It Fills a Void
- Societal and Cultural Factors
Then the articles asks … What Can We Do?
After listing a couple of ideas, it closes by stating that “compassion towards others is the true context that heals.” Unfortunately, compassion rarely comes naturally and, in fact, is seen by many as a weakness. Because of this, there is little doubt we will continue to experience demonstrations of Hate and its accompanying actions in today’s society.