We Cannot Hate Our Way to Love – September 29 2019

We Cannot Hate Our Way to Love – September 29 2019

“Hate the sin and not the sinner” is a precept which, though easy enough to understand, is rarely practiced, and that is why the poison of hatred spreads in the world… Man and his deed are two distinct things. It is quite proper to resist and attack a system, but to resist and attack its author is tantamount to resisting and attacking one-self. For we are all tarred with the same brush and are children of one and the same Creator, and as such the divine powers within us are infinite. To slight a single human being is to slight those divine powers, and thus to harm not only that being, but with him, the whole world.

Mahatma Gandhi, A Tussle with Power

Non-violence is not a garment to be put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our being.

Mahatma Gandhi, source unknown

We cannot hate our way to love. We cannot kill our way to safety. We cannot separate ourselves to an experience of wholeness. Life is one thing, and each of us a part of it. And each of us owes it to life itself to support life always, in all ways, at all times.

Our people, our country, our world, must begin to heal, regardless of the violence, cruelty or perceived stupidity of those we would deem as ‘other.’ Though few of us might engage in physical violence, every thought we entertain of separation and hatred adds to the mix of the whole, lending permission to those who would seek to harm others. This is where we must begin.

If I find I cannot love my brother, I can at least remind myself that God loves him, in spite of his politics. If I cannot speak well of my sister, I can at least keep myself from speaking ill or her. If the policies of those in power cause my heart to be heavy, then I must find a way for my voice to be heard, in support of those policies that bring my heart peace.

Violence is not an answer that we, as a people, may employ, ever. In this we must stand together. The hatred must stop. It stops with me, now. And if it stops with me, it might become easier for it to stop with my neighbor as well.

Today when I find thoughts of hatred or animosity arising within me, for myself or any others, I will ask for support from that power that is greater than I to put my mind on what is right about my world, rather than what is wrong.

Meditator, Shivala Ghat, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India