Clowning Around with Hate

Most of the stories in the news these days are depressing, demeaning and full of fear and hate. It escapes me why the media thinks I need to know about Lindsey Lohan‘s latest fling or how some guy in some podunk town shot his neighbor over the neighborhood chili cook-off.

Every now and then there is something in the news that shows some positive aspects of our society. The CNN story displayed on this post, although about a KKK rally, depicts some promising responses from the citizens of the town where the rally took place.

Instead of fighting hate with hate and having the rally turn into one more event that generates hate and negativity, the citizens decided to take a different approach. Instead of lobbing insults, screaming hateful slogans, starting fights and rioting, they decided to boldly display love, acceptance, and joy.

You may say that this is allowing the KKK to continue their hateful ways and get away with spreading their venomous words. However, every major religion and spiritual teaching says to not fight hate with hate. For example, the bible says:

Do not return evil for evil. Avenge not yourselves, but rather give way to wrath; for it is written, vengeance is mine; I will repay, says the Lord. Therefore if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsts, give him drink: for in so doing you shall heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12:17-21

There are many more examples for this kind of teaching. Buddha, Martin Luther King, Gandhi and the Dalai Lama are all examples of people that have taught the power of love over hate.

In Wayne Dyer‘s book The Shift, he describes the shift from an ego centered life to one filled with meaning. The first step that happens when one makes this shift is focusing on personal empowerment. This means that instead of being focused on getting empowerment from control and influence of external things, we get empowerment from attention to our inner self. By doing this, influence over external situations and other people becomes of less importance.

This story shows people making this shift by not attempting to control and force the KKK members to change their speech and actions. Rather they are showing an example of love and acceptance. This is much more powerful, inspiring and moving than any spewing of hate. Besides, as the old saying goes “Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die”. I’ll take the clown nose over drinking poison any day.

What would the world be like if more people stood up and decided to no longer foster hate? Not by responding with more hate, but by demonstrating love and acceptance.

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