Dealing with the hate that is everywhere
"Hate" is today everywhere. The word is there in scare quotes because I am referring to the word as it's commonly bruited around in the media or in the speeches of Harry and Meghan. That's the supposed sister to today's "racism," "homophobia," and "misogyny" — all of which have their own faked, and exaggerated version — that are paraded everywhere.
But hate — true hate — is real and spreading like a cancer. And it is moving from something felt and openly expressed, to something that is acted upon. It's sometimes by design, and it's sometimes because of uncontrolled and unrestrained anger and rage.
We see it in the kinds of crimes coming out of the woodwork — from crimes of rage to the bloodstained kind in the form of a chalk outline on the floor.
It's ubiquitous. With phone cameras always on the ready, even small occurrences of violent hate, in out-of-the-way places, are now eye bait for the masses, showing the hate.
There are instances of crazed people jumping on the counter of a fast food restaurant, screaming and threatening. There are also videos of cars running over "protesters."
Dare a person wear a red Trump hat today? Or put a Trump sign on his lawn?
Dare a person just sit with a few friends in a restaurant without being ready to either go along with making, or riskily refuse to make, some idiotic racial or political chant on some angry stranger's threatening demand?
(Have you decided what you'd do if you found yourself in that situation?)
But the political and cause-driven hate is not the only type today being seen. There is also, and increasingly, the outright, old-fashioned, impassioned type. Even murder.
Yes, murder. And not just in the mean urban streets long known for such things, but even in quiet towns and smaller cities such as surround my own still-for-the-moment tranquil semi-rural community.
A man in a town neighboring my own recently murdered another local man who had an affair with his wife. And then he forced his wife to decapitate (yes, you read that right) and bury the murdered man's body.
This morning, I read about another murder in yet another neighboring town — this committed by teen who killed his own father with a hammer and a knife.
These were "headlines" of a sort. But not the sort I often look at. And certainly not the sort I'd have, even a short time ago, expected to read in a local paper.
The various types of violence I mention above are not to my mind unrelated. They all, each in its own way, reflect the same "demons" having been loosed into the world. They are one that here (and elsewhere) had been kept in check by the now "outmoded" idea of religion and basic morality. In the place of such faith-based self-restraint have come the, yes!, demons of the unrestrained human soul.
I see all the above occurring, and I choose to act for self-preservation and, if needed, in self-protection.
Foremost of my own soul. I will not hate. I will not allow myself to see hate and unrestrained anger as normal. They are, and will remain, of another world inhabited by a different psyche. "Out there," not "in here."
TV and movies, social media posts, they are all vehicles for it. If encouraging hate is their theme, I want no part of them. No, none. Not to fill my mind or my heart.
But the second act of self-defense is what I see as the building up of a perimeter. The "wall" that surrounds my life separating it from what is "out there" is going up and going up for many.
With that, there has come the development of a practiced and ready system of defense — in this case, not against an idea, but as needed against quite real and physical forces. They are to be used against any violent hater who wishes to force his way into the tranquil world I inhabit with my friends and loved ones.
One does what one must. Such is a fundamental of adulthood.
Yes, it is as simple as that. The first step toward doing so is being willing to see and recognize what is in fact, no matter how much we may personally dislike it, happening. We have to avoid childlike denial.
The growing threat of hate and violence is real. That sad fact must be faced up to and, as required, dealt with.