Waiting For The Great Leap Forward

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

— Dr Martin Luther King, Jr

Yesterday saw some truly horrific events occur in the streets of London. I don't think there is anyone on the planet who has access to any form of media who could be unaware of what happened, so do I need to rehash the details - no. And that isn't what I want to talk about anyway.

I want to talk about hate.

I know it is naive in the extreme to expect everyone to link arms and sing 'it's a small world after all', and dance around and pretend everything is rainbows and unicorns. But in the last twenty four hours, I have seen so much hatred. Within minutes of the attack going out on the interwebs, people were calling for every Muslim in the UK to be 'shipped back to where they came from'. Where they came from?

So that would be Chelsea then.

What scared me the most was that some of the people yelling the loudest were in fact people whom I know, and would never have expected a reaction like this from. It really knocked me for six. It also made me realise that the perceptions we have of those we think we know should never be fixed, because again, that is naive and will inevitably lead to bubbles being burst and illusions shattered.

Hate begets hate.

The nature of the beast - and I am probably being unkind to beasts in general - when it comes to us humans is this; we are not nice. I have written about this before. Those who go against the tide in any way, shape or form are inevitably torn apart in some way, and yes, it sometimes is deserved, but it is those who are carried along in the rip who are usually drowned for no reason. The actions of those two cowards in London yesterday will have ramifications for so many others who are trying to fight for freedom in ways that are not hurtful. The mistrust and general lack of understanding between cultural groups - between religions - is now going to yawn even wider.

I think it was brought home even more strongly to me last night when a beautiful, intelligent and thoughtful friend posted something on Facebook regarding the epidemic of obesity that is evident in Australia at present. She was attacked for basically giving a damn. She spoke from a position of knowledge, and care, and without being disrespectful to those who are trying to lose weight and be healthy. The person who ripped into her - well, I can honestly say that they spoke from a position of ignorance. Their comments also encouraged others to make fun of the message she was putting across.

Hate begets hate.

We have to stop the mob mentality from taking over and destroying what is great about the human spirit. There is too much that is wonderful about humanity to let the Dark Side win.

This is a potentially optimistic day for me - not just because it is a Friday! It is a fairly big day in the Life of Kate. And I am determined to see a spark of greatness in people today. No matter what. And so I ask this of you:

Don't give in to hate. It is draining. It makes you empty, and tired, and hollow. It takes all the colour out of life and makes any experiences bittersweet, because spending time hating turns your psyche into a big gnarled knot of yuck. 

What those two men - if you can call them men - did is unforgivable. It is, to me, incomprehensible.

But judge them only. Don't judge a large chunk of humanity by their act.

Let your hate go, and take a giant leap forward - or even a small step.

I'm sure Neil Armstrong, and Dr Luther King, would approve.

Just a few rainbows and unicorns never hurt anyone.