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Oct112012

Wasted Energy

There isn't enough energy in the world to do all the good that it needs: to soothe emotional and physical wounds, feed the hungry and cure the sick, fix problems, clean up messes.

So it makes me incredibly sad to see so many people expending so much valuable energy to hate and engender hate.

On occasion, I drive past a well trafficked corner in the Galleria area here in Houston: The intersection at Post Oak and Westheimer. And on occasion, there are a handful of people stomping around, protesting homosexuality with signs bigger than their bodies. (They seem unaffiliated with the Westboro Baptist Church, which has become infamous for its outspoken antigay and anti-Judaism protests.)

These protesters are unafraid to be in our faces with their hatred. Few are so brazen, which may make some of us think that this level of hatred is somehow an anomaly. Yet chapters of the Ku Klux Klan exist today, along with upstart Nazi groups. And people have publicly said things about Muslims and Arabs in recent times that make my skin crawl.

Hate--like love--takes an intense amount of energy. Let's consider positive these people could do with that level of energy:

  • Gather food, cook for, and feed the hungry in local communities, national communities, and across the globe.
  • Counsel runaways, drug abusers, battered wives, and disadvantaged children.
  • Tutor children.
  • Help the elderly with yard work and tasks around their homes.
  • Pick up trash along roadways, in parks and on beaches, and around neighborhoods.
  • Send soldiers care packages.
  • Donate unwanted clothes, electronics, jewelry, and household items.
  • Pick a charity and offer to help with office paperwork and other administrative tasks. (Nonprofits often need this help the most!)

I realize that these people feel morally opposed to gay people and feel disgusted by people of certain races and religions (or even just other races and religions in general). I don't understand them. I cannot grasp why anyone cares about what someone else does or believes when it has no affect on him whatsoever.

However, setting aside the logic (or lack thereof) in their opposition for a moment, what do these people feel they achieve by picketing against groups of people and making others feel afraid? What is their objective? Terrorism? Hatemongering? How does that solve problems? Why not use the energy currently devoted toward negative ends to help communities? There's more than enough need in the world for people to find a positive outlet for their energies that’s in line with or at least not opposed to their political, racial, or religious stances--whether I like those stances or not.

Turn away from the negative to the positive, folks. The world needs it.

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Reader Comments (2)

(I accidentally hit the refresh button on the browser before saving my response so this is an abbreviated comment)

Groups like this hope that by protesting that they will activate others that feel the way they but hide it. Unfortunately it works.

Hate is mainly born of fear. Fear of the different and the unknown. Education and outreach can help change this however some people actually profit off hate. Neo Nazi groups make a living selling hate music, paraphernalia, and books online. They have a profit motive to keep this going.

The best you can do is to show that tolerance and an inclusive open minded approach are a benefit to all people. Be steadfast in your opposition to this evil. The hate mongers will tire out and their rhetoric will fade away over time.

October 11, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterWilliam Pora

I think the point that some people profit off feeding and engendering hate is a very good one, William, as pained as it makes me to consider it.

You and Rebecca, in her blog response, are correct: The best we can do is to counter the negative with positivity and acceptance and do-gooding. And we must speak up when we see hatred and negativity, whether with actual words, or by walking away, or by not patronizing the places and businesses that spew it.

October 12, 2012 | Registered CommenterLeslie Farnsworth

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