i too have a dream that one day, no one will ever hate anyone. that there will be no such thing as hate.
“I have decided to stick with love.
Hate is too great a burden to bear.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.
that one day no one will care whether someone is white or heterosexual or young or handicap-free or wealthy. that everyone will respect everyone else simply as fellow members of the human race.
“People, I just want to say, you know, can we all just get along?”
that one day people will abandon prejudice and choose kindness and respect.
“I think everyone should love everybody.”
that one day, instead of condemning people or ignoring the poor, people will let their actions speak for their god.
Love others as well as you love yourself.
it wasn’t that long ago that I realized in order for any of those dreams to ever have a hope of occurring, they first had to occur within me.
I had—actually, have—to abandon hate. yes, forgive, eventually. but hate no longer.
Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love.
I could no longer hate the high school kids who surrounded me in the bathroom stall and harassed me when I was a kindergartner. nor could I hate the countless other bullies throughout my life, including the classmates who started calling me “gay” in 5th grade, the 8th grader who would pummel me over and over in football practice with a vengeance, or the grown men who to this day sneer “faggot” when they look at me. I couldn’t hate the man who I thought didn’t want to be my father after he found out I was conceived any more than I could hate the man who adopted me, dumped me off on his parents to raise, called me “sissy” as I grew up, and then resented me my entire life for having a better life than he had. I could bear no hate toward the minister who hurt me or the adults who let me be hurt. I couldn’t hate the woman who left our children when they were babies nor I could I hate the people who abandoned my family when I made the bravest decision of my life. and i cannot hate the man who led me along, hurt me, and abandoned me when things got tough.
and it also means I cannot hate myself for how I’ve hurt others, how I’ve let people down, how I’ve suffered major lapses in character and integrity, or because I think I am inferior or in any way less than a wonderful creation.
it means I have to purposefully work toward getting along with others, including stupid people (inside joke) and that I can never view anyone as inferior.
and it means that I too must be colorblind (I believe I’ve got this one down), free of prejudice, and nonjudgmental .
[for example, it’s far easier to just assume people are against you. as a good friend shared with me tonight: “you never know when someone you’ve judged to be against you has been secretly pulling for you the whole time.”]
I’ve come a long way in my life, overcoming the impairment I’ve allowed hate to inflict. in fact, it’s funny how most items on my “hate” list are no longer candidates–including, finally, the one I still bore a grudge against. I pause and consider that I may be becoming fairly healthy in that I really do not hate all that much.
getting along with some people (particularly stupid people) and avoiding passing judgment, though, continue to take a bit more practice.
so on this day when we Americans commemorate the life and dream of a man who I believe stands for all oppressed peoples, I heartily register my “amen!” to letting go of hate and to being one step closer to seeing my dream fulfilled:
“Hatred paralizes life;
love releases it.
Hatred confuses life;
love harmonizes it.
Hatred darkens life;
love illuminates it.”
~Martin Luther King
indeed, it does.