When I was a teenager, I noticed how mean some people would be to me and to others, for no reason at all. I had not done anything to them, and I had also not noticed that others had done anything to them. They would not only say mean things, they would also attempt to do mean things in order to defy, defeat, and control, for no reason at all. They would often spew hateful rhetoric at the expense of others. I can remember asking my mother, ‘why is he/she so mean and angry; I didn’t do anything to him/her.’ My mother would say, ‘you don’t have to do anything to people for them to hate you. They hate you for no reason at all, because of how you look, what they think you have, because you are different, and many times who they think you are.’ She would also go on to say, ‘but love them anyhow!’
The words of my deceased mother resonate in my mind until today. I continue to not only witness the anger and the hatred projected onto my daughters and me for no reason at all, I also witness the anger and hatred projected onto others, just because, and for no reason at all. I have found that many times people hate you because of their own self-hatred. There just might be a part of you that reminds them of that part within themselves that they dislike and they don’t know how to face, which is deep within their inner self.
On the other hand, there is the hatred from others that is espoused onto you because you are different. You don’t look like them; based on your race, skin color, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, economic level, social status, political affiliation, religious belief, or immigration status. They believe you don’t have what they have. Either you have less than them or more than them; you live in a different part of town; you don’t drive an acceptable automobile; your clothes are not up to par’ or your educational level is not equivalent to theirs.
For some reason, they believe in their narrow minds that you have come to take what they have or that which they believe they have. No matter what their reason for espousing hate against you, it is not your problem…their heart is dark and narrow!
Mama was right; people don’t have to have a reason for hating you. It seems easier for them to indulge in hate, rather than to express love. Often, because they have hated for so long, they don’t know how to love. Hate isn’t a behavior and action that God has placed in our hearts from birth; it is a learned behavior. However, it seems as if people project onto others the negative behaviors that they have learned, more so than the positive behaviors. Even though hate is learned, it doesn’t mean that you have to practice hating others on a daily basis. You must be accountable for your own behaviors. You have a choice in the matter. When you know better you do better. And if you aren’t sure, ask somebody!
Fear, anger, and hate go hand in hand. If you were to begin to monitor your hate, you would come to recognize that there is a cycle to your hate. Your fears about the threats others pose against you, whether real or imagined, fuel your anger about your seeming lack of ability to control or stop the perceived threats of losing the things you believe you have or about losing the place you believe you have attained in life. For some reason, it seems as if many of you in this country believe that you are the only one who deserves nice things, nice places, and high levels of attainment. As a result, your hate cycle begins.
Your fears and anger then manifest into hate. All people who are different from you, based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, economic level, social status, political affiliation, religious belief, or immigration status, are not threats to destroying your neighborhood or moving you from your perceived state of being privileged. But somehow, the made for TV movie you have developed in your mind takes you through the cycle of hate. And then you want to blame others for your actions and claim you ‘just snapped,’ when you put forth negative hateful action against others. It is time for you to begin to recognize that you CAN learn to no longer hate and start loving others, even with their differences.
As has been said by many others, FEAR is false evidence appearing real. In Marvin Gaye’s 1978 album, “Hear My Dear,” he talked about the negative power of anger. Marvin sang, ‘anger makes you sick; anger makes you old, anger destroys your soul!’ He also went on to state that ‘anger injures you, and treats your body bad.’ Not only does anger do all of the things Marvin mentioned in his 1978 song, it negatively encapsulates and impacts your mind, heart, and spirit. Anger is the emotion that keeps your heart small, allowing you to blame everyone else for issues in your life, as well as promoting your fears about the perceived threats of others to you, all because of their differences. Anger helps you to hold people down and hold them back, based on who they are, or who you think they are, based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, economic level, social status, political affiliation, religious belief, or their immigration status.
Amazingly, after singing about anger in his 1978 album, Marvin continued with his song, “Everybody Needs Love.” He recognized that hate was not the answer to dealing with anger; love was and is the answer. He took it a little further by stating, ‘ALL of God’s children need love, including you. It doesn’t matter what you are; a thief, a beggar, or superstar.’ Marvin was also correct in stating that ‘you are made for love and made of love.’
Not only do you need love, you must possess love by ridding yourself of hate and share your unconditional love with others! This love comes by way of you stepping outside of your comfort zone and your ‘privileged’ zone to gain awareness, insight, and understanding about people who are different from you. You often spend so much time fighting to be understood that you miss the boat in gaining understanding, which will carry you much farther.
The reality is that ‘Your Heart is Too Large to Hate!” The problem is, when you engage in hateful thoughts, hateful feelings, and hateful actions, you make excuses, you are not accountable, and you refuse to engage in forgiving yourself and others who haven't done anything to you, all because you spend too much time blaming them. You begin to carry people in your heart, not only for their differences and perceived threats against you, but also because they either ‘did something to you’ or you believe they ‘did something to you.’ Again, there is your made for TV movie that you have concocted in your mind and in your heart.
My mother also used to say “your heart is too small to carry people in it.” Carrying people in your heart whom you believe have caused real or imagined threats, hurts, and pains against you, doesn’t and won’t allow room for you to carry love in your heart. However, you can come to recognize that love trumps hate and “Your Heart Is Too Large to Hate!”
With the celebration of the Fourth of July, also known as “Independence Day,” it is time for you to take a look in the mirror and begin to ascertain the size and color of your heart when it comes to others who are different from you. Decide if your heart is small and dark, filled with hate, or is it large and pure, filled with love or at least open to the possibility of allowing love to come in. Independence Day was created to celebrate and commemorate the signing and adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 2, 1776. The signing of the document was to indicate freedom for America from Great Britain. Sadly, two hundred and forty-two (242) years later, there are far too many of the masses of people in this country who are still not free. They are denied their freedom because of the hatred in the hearts of so many Americans, based on their differences and the cycle of hate discussed previously.
As you celebrate the freedom of this country, start celebrating or continue celebrating love for the boys, girls, men, and women, who don’t look like you in this country and outside of this country, based on their race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, economic level, social status, political affiliation, religious belief, or immigration status. Remember, until all of us are free, none of us are truly free!
If you plan to celebrate freedom during the Fourth of July, you must start celebrating or fight to continue celebrating love for ALL people within America, as well as those who attempt to enter America. You must challenge yourself and challenge others to confront their fears, their self-anger, their displaced anger, and their hate towards others. Remember, “Your heart Is Too Large to Hate,” but it is large enough to love! Start loving and keep loving, starting with love for YOU!