Right now, my country is torn. There is so much hatred and anger, mistrust and violence, that it is easy to become part of it all. It would be easy to yell and scream that the system failed me. It would be easy to be fearful and lash out. But I don’t want that… not for me, and not for my country. I don’t want to be filled with a mix of fear and anger. I don’t want to be that person.
Let me be clear, I don’t hate Trump’s supporters- they have a right to choose, the same as myself. I don’t even fear most of them- they are my friends and neighbors and I love them now, the same as I loved them last year. I do hate one person, though I don’t want to. I hate my president elect. I hate that he has torn us even further apart, spouting vitriol. I hate that he found a platform for his racism, his cruelty. I hate him because I fear him. I fear what having that type of role model can do. I also hate that some of the protests have gotten violent. I don’t agree with hurting one another. We need to unify. We need- I need- to learn to calm down and if not accept, recognize. This is where our country is going- with Trump- whether one man is allowed to change us as a country… in my heart I don’t think he can. In the end, there is more love here than hate, more acceptance than bitterness.
All of this made me remember a book I read in 2011. It is called I Shall Not Hate by Izzeldin Abuelaish. He is a doctor that worked both sides of the Gaza strip. The work he did, and what he saw at both hospitals, could have changed a person alone. It could have made them more aloof, more bitter. The distrust from both Palestine and Israeli people… and lastly the devastating loss of his children. All of this could have made him bitter and filled with hate. None of it did. I shall not hate is sad, painful even. But in the end the message is clear. No matter what, we can’t let pain and suffering change us. We cannot bow to our own fear and hate. We have to rise above this, to talk to one another and find a way to live united. I will work on this. I will release this negativity in myself because it can do nothing but poison me. I will embrace all my brothers and sister, and hope that they embrace me back. I will love, I will give. I will still fight to protect everything I love, but with words. With logic. I have to believe that an act of kindness weighs more than hatred. I have to believe that changing my perception can help.
I shall not hate.