For the life of me, I can't understand the hatred that can exist in the world.  All of us are human.  All of us are inter-related in one way or another.  We contain so much similar DNA.  We all can be traced back to common ancestors from long ago.  We all need oxygen, food and water to live.  So much binds us together.
 
Psychologists though say we are biologically aware of difference.  We know when someone doesn't look like us, or talk like us.  We notice differences in gender, hair cuts, age, fashion, economic status for instance.  We are taught to look for these differences from a young age.  Sesame Street taught us the song, "One of these things is not like the other."  Since ancient times humanity has used the power of differentiation as a safety thing.  The idea being if one is hanging out with people like you then you should be safer then if you were befriending those opposite to you.
 
Some people don't do well with the idea of difference.  They fear those who are strange.  These people would be happy in a segregated world where we only hang out with those just like us. Someone who is different is scary.  I think the shooter in Charleston fit into this camp.  He refused to see the good in others.  His fear led him to kill nine innocent people.  His fear of the other led him to carry out an extreme act of violence.  Call it what you will- I call it extremism.  He killed to promote anger, race wars, and raise dissension and fear.  His was an act of hate.
 
But I think it is so much easier to be ruled by love.  We hold so much in common.  People relate better to encouragement rather than criticism.  Children who are loved learn to respect and cherish difference.  Someone who feels valued by others is less likely to devalue the lives of others.  Nelson Mandela talked about this when he was released from prison.  He could have held on to the hate he felt for the apartheid leaders or his jailers.  But he realized this would not release him from his emotional jail.  Or he could forgive.  Forgiving was life changing.  Forgiving was liberating. Forgiving meant embracing life not death.  Mandela chose the latter- he chose life, and the world is better for that decision.  Blessings
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