Hatefulness Looks Exhausting
Hate, bigotry and xenophobia are so exhausting. How does a person keep it all straight? Who to hate this week? On whose neck to stand on next week? I mean really ... I guess such a person needs to keep a list handy so they can be sure which child or old person to punch in the face. Does that person appear to be gay or Muslim? How is a downtrodden white plumber to get it right? Oh well, if you're not sure, just pull out your second ammendment shoot 'em. I mean after all they were walking in your personal space of 20 square feet and you were just "standing your ground".
I don’t know for certain, since I am not a person who can hate much – or, at all really. I don’t really understand it. But from what I can see; from what I have observed, it looks exhausting to me. Like hating someone for reasons that are simply stupid – they practice a religion different from yours, or they have a skin color that is different, or they are a man who prefers other men in a way you don’t understand. Then for some reason, the hateful person feels a need to act poorly towards those people.
Even if those other people are children or old women. How is it even possible to express hatred towards a child? !!! ??? ???? Or, a really decrepit old woman or man. At my advanced age, I am really kind of old myself, and, I am a war veteran. Fortunately I never had to fire a weapon or try to kill the enemy. I had a college roommate who was Viet Namiese (sp). He was a really good guy and a good roommate – he liked garlic and fish a bit too much, but otherwise we got along just fine. Going over to his home country and attempting to shoot at his relatives – because I was supposed to hate them, was too strange for me to contemplate at the age of 20.
Even though I served for two years – I am as patriotic as the next American – I was mostly a teletype operator and just sat in a overheated teletype rig typing out orders for somebody else to go shoot people. A conundrum for someone who is basically a pacifist at heart. I never got around to hating the enemy. I just typed stuff and ran the transmitter. I hated the heat and the bugs, but it never occurred to me to hate other human beings. There were layers of concertina wire, guards and dogs surrounding the rig.
In order to really hate effectively though, it seems a person has to remember, “Oh, I hate those people. I can’t be nice to them. I have to act all hateful and show them disrespect and stuff.” But, “I like these other people. So, when I see those people I have to be mean and when I see these people I need to be nice.” How does anybody keep it straight? That seems like it would take a lot of concentration and energy.
Then there is the bit about guns. They cost money and you can only do one thing with them. Which is to destroy stuff. And, you need bullets and bullets cost even more money – and you can only use them once. You can’t use them to build houses or … chop firewood or … paint things. All you can do is put big holes in stuff – or other people. Who really really needs to do that? And what if you can’t keep your hatred straight and get confused and shoot the wrong people. “Whoops! I like those people, it was those other people I hate.” But, once you pull that trigger and put a hole in them, well, that’s pretty much something you can’t undo.
Okay, so now we come to treating them with disrespect. “That guy, or woman, looks like they are gay (?).” Which is a pretty tricky judgment. I know lots and lots of people who are gay. They don’t really look all that different and many of them are good friends. I mean, I like them and what is there about them to hate? Or, if somebody’s skin or eyes are different from mine. Big deal. What the fuck difference does that make? Maybe they speak English as a second language. Half of the people you will meet in foreign countries speak English – most Americans only speak English. Even when they go to a place where they don’t, as a rule speak English, they still try hard to communicate with US as visitors. Why should I hate them when they come here? At least they tried hard to be able to talk with me. I should hate them because they struggle with my language?
For me, it is just easier … or maybe I am emotionally lazy … to like people. Or, at least to like them at first – give them the benefit of doubt about being a good, reasonable and honest person. Love seems easier that hate. Hating requires scrutiny and making a judgment and then putting that judgment against your list of people and stuff you decided to hate. Mentally checking that list and then deciding in what manner you are going to shit on somebody. How much hatred and meanness can you get away with in a given situation? If you go too far (assuming that’s possible in some locales), where is the line you can’t cross? Man! That’s a lot of thinking. Whew!
It’s also all so limiting to stick yourself in some group with some kind of code that forces you to remember all that stuff.
Being nice, being gentle, being considerate and loving simply seems to be far less work.