Stop Being a Hater

Okay, so if you have been following along on Instagram you know that I went to the new Calgary Central Library this week!

You guys, it was so awesome!

I mean, I am such a nerd and LOVE libraries (I was one of the girls who was obsessed with the library in Beauty and the Beast), but this was a whole new level (they have those really bright balloons as seen in the picture, so fun!).

I loved the atmosphere at that library. I felt that when I entered the library, I was welcomed with creativity, exploration, and new ideas.  That place draws people in. I felt like everyone was just there and simply enjoying it.

I reveled in my time there because I felt like it was a place to not only dream, but also escape. As I wandered around, sat down, and day-dreamed, I realized that everyone there seemed to have a quiet excitement around them. In addition to this, I felt a sense of peace.

As I sat revelling in this new and amazing library, I realized that what I felt here was, in a strange sense, unity.

My heart began to ache because I realized how much of a presence hate and divisiveness have in our lives.

Every corner I turn, ever page I flip, every different app I visit, I am confronted with the presence of polar opposites. People not only can’t agree upon anything (what’s new), but they also seem to view disagreement as a reason to vehemently hate each other.  Or, if someone sees someone trying to do something to help others, or further their life, then everyone has something negative to say about it.

There is such an “us vs. them” mentality everywhere.

Honestly, the fact that there is too much hate in this world is probably the one thing we can all agree on.

I’m not saying we all have to agree on everything and sit in a big circle and sing “Kumbaya”. However, what I am saying, is that just because someone has a different worldview does not give us a reason to hate them or to shut them out.

Yes, this is easier said than done.

It is easier to hate than to invite a person who thinks completely opposite than you into your life.

However, if we want any sense of unity or peace, this is what we must do.

We need to invite those who see the world differently to come, sit down, and have an open-minded conversation with us.

Listen, I know I have been quick to point my finger at others (like certain political figures), and blame them for the overwhelming amounts of hate and divisiveness that our society experiences. But, that isn’t fully true, is it? It isn’t just “others” fault.

I am just as guilty.

I get angry and frustrated with people who think differently than me sometimes. Sometimes, I want to shut people who oppose me out of my life completely, or I want to just yell at them.

However, I realized that shutting people out, or being angry at them, solves nothing.

If I don’t agree or don’t understand what someone believes, or what someone is doing, I need to ask them to explain it to me, and in turn, perhaps I can share more about my perspective.

We need to stop jumping down each others throats and slamming others just because we disagree or feel (often unnecessarily) threatened by their beliefs or decisions. Just because it is easier to be defensive and filled with hate, than it is to be open and willing to listen and discuss, does not mean we should choose the easy path.

Honestly, I am so exhausted of the hate.

I see people just trying their best to do what they can in this world, and everyone has so many negative things to say about it.

Why say hateful things instead of directly talking to the person? Why unnecessarily hate when you can try to understand? The person you might be hating on could actually have good reasons for doing what they are doing, there might be more to the story than you realize, or they honestly might just be uneducated on some things.

We have NO idea until we invite them to have an OPEN-MINDED (on both sides) conversation.

We are at a place where we do not want to associate with people who might not agree with us. We don’t want to have our world beliefs challenged, and if they are, then instantly our hackles go up and we become angry.

We shy away from the “others”, and as a result we label those who think differently than us as the enemy. We become divided in a time when we need unity. We need to have open conversations with open minds and hearts, so that we can understand those who are different than us, and hopefully learn to respect, if not love them.

There have been times in my life, where what I believed in my core has been deeply challenged. I had to struggle to figure out what still rang true for me. At the end of that search, I realized what was true and it made me 1) more compassionate and understanding to other worldviews and 2) made my own beliefs stronger. This made me a better person and a better Christian.

You guys, we really aren’t so different. I think at our core we are probably more similar than we are different. It is time we stop this “us vs. them” mentality. After all, we are all human, we are all children of God! We are all just trying our best, we are all trying to figure out this hard thing called life. Let’s stop shouting at each other, let’s stop creating chaos and hate.

It is easier to hate than feel conflicted on how to mediate differences.

It is easier to remain ignorant than to try to understand someone who seems so different.

It is easier to turn away than to open the door to a difficult conversation.

It is easier to shout than to sit and listen.

It is easier to hate than to love.

But, just because that might be the easier option does not mean we should choose it. And just because it might seem easier, does not mean it is better for anyone. We need to work hard to understand and listen to other people’s hearts, rather than hate on them simply for thinking differently.

For example, you know that I am a Christian, and I know a lot of people draw their own assumptions about what that entails. It can be hard when the church and religion have at times made some horrific decisions, and certain radical branches can give all Christians a bad reputation.  However, not all Christians have the same mentality as others.

If you have questions or things you struggle with in regards to the Christian faith, please just come have a conversation with me! I don’t have all the answers, and we will probably disagree on something’s, but that doesn’t mean we need to hate each other. It doesn’t mean we can’t discuss things. We are grown people here. Let’s stop shying away from difference. Let’s have conversations.

Like I said, this is just an example of a conversation than can happen. But the same thing goes for people with different political views, different mentality, different educations, and different backgrounds.

Rather than just hating on someone for what you might superficially see, or stereotypes you have heard, have an open-minded conversation with them. Ask them questions and let them ask you questions. Have the hard conversations. You might disagree, but that’s life, it doesn’t mean you should hate them or hate on them.

I could go on about this topic forever, because it just frustrates me so much! But, I will just leave it with this: Jesus did not shy away and isolate himself from people who didn’t agree with him. No, he went and sat down with them. He had a conversation with them. He loved them (Matthew 9:9-13).

As Jesus says in John 15:12 “My commandment is this: Love each other as I have loved you.”

Let’s stop creating divisiveness. Let’s stop making each others lives harder than they need to be.

Let’s open the doors to open-minded conversations, so that we can try and understand each other a bit better. Stop letting stupid things create a divide between us and others.

~S~

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