There is a growing trend these days, a rise of hatred that comes from our fear of threats we do not understand. It’s natural that we would react with a sharp reflexive withdrawal. But it’s also exactly the wrong response. We have only to look at the past 100 years to see why.
Not that long ago a man stepped up to the podium and began a relentless campaign of hatred, discrimination and destruction. At first his words sounded good. They bolstered the flagging population, gave them hope and pride again when they most needed it. But before long his words turned into weapons to beat down and destroy those he did not like. Before long it became evident to the entire world that his goals were evil, that his morals were corrupt, and that he must be stopped. His name was Adolph Hitler.
Playing On Fear
He was successful in his initial efforts precisely because Fear is a very powerful motivator. Fear reaches into our core and makes us react in extreme and often thoughtless ways. It is an excellent handle by which to manipulate otherwise reasonable thinking people. Hitler proved it could be done. And he proved it could be stopped too.
Sewing Fear and Reaping Hatred
Today’s terrorist groups such as ISIS (or ISIL if you prefer) grow by using the same weaponized words as did Hitler. They preach incessantly about the horrors of those “different” than themselves. They exhort their followers to take up arms and strike down those others as well. They plant the seeds of fear then reap their bounty crop of hatred. Their tactics are neither new nor unique. And yet they still work too.
Refusing the Fear and Hate
America was created on the strongly held belief that neither Fear nor Hatred should be used to rule a people. We began by writing rules and laws to prevent them being used in that way. We framed an entire nation on those principles, and we’ve raised generations steeped in the beauty of them too.
But why now are we failing to heed them? Why is it that in this time of strife and conflict that we have forgotten the brutal lessons of recent history? Why have we forsaken the logic proven by our own success? Why are we allowing ourselves to be suckered once again into believing that Hatred fixes .. or that Fear does good?
Hold My Hand
Hold my hand. Take hold and show you believe that Fear is the wrong reaction. Become one more in the fight to strike down Hatred, not with anger but with reasonable rational thought. Grab on and hold tightly to the knowledge that giving in to the words of division is always going to result in more fear and more hatred. And that’s not what we want. Not at all.
We are a success. A glowing and growing statement that unity, brotherhood, humanity and dignity are the ideals that ensure peace. Peace here, and peace abroad. We will win, over hatred like that spread by those who know only hatred, and over fear sewn by those who would see us fail.
Let’s not give them our own defeat .. by our own hands.