This Klansman — or Klanswoman, you can’t tell — represents the face of hatred: Hatred is cowardly and conceals its identity.
So we don’t notice when we begin to support Hatred. It conceals itself so well, that we don’t even realize when we’re feeding it.
We don’t usually know we are hating, when we are hating. Usually we feel like our feelings toward the hated person are justified feelings. We feel righteous in our anger, and often there is much merit in our logical arguments against whatever-it-is we are angry about.
The trouble is, hatred has a life of its own.
So hatred may start with a political candidate. It may start with targets that seem worthy of hate.
…but then slowly, insidiously, it makes its way into our repertoire, it becomes a basic response we have to people who frustrate us. Once practiced, hatred grows and wriggles its way into our everyday life.
We become similar to those we hate, and similar in precisely the ways that we hate them. We become haters. We love to hate haters, but what does that hate do to us?
The antidote for hatred is lovingkindness.
Like hatred, lovingkindness tends to grow. It does not remain static. If we start to turn our energies toward those which we love, if we turn our thoughts to “easy targets” for love, that behavior of loving can grow and color our daily life.
In this political season, are you hating? Gosh, I know I sure am. But I am trying to be aware of what that hatred can do, and to practice lovingkindness by picturing those I love, and thinking kind and caring thoughts about them.
It is a very advanced practice to think kind thoughts about those who draw our anger out, those we might end up hating. I think I’ll wait til after the election to work on that!
At least, we can be kind to our frightened, angry, Inner Klansperson. We can be accepting that we, too, are capable of hatred. We do well to be kind to ourselves, forgiving of ourselves, in order that we may be at ease, and in order that we may practice lovingkindness toward others.
Which would you rather do, hate or love? You have this choice every day. And more so in an election year.