I spend much time, I believe, trying to understand things. The why’s of life tend to pique my curiosity. During some of my longer meditative periods I’ve begun to see that I may not be trying to fully understand anything. I may just be trying to understand why others don’t see that my opinion is the right one. Did you laugh? You were supposed to because even if you didn’t think I said anything funny, the embarrassment of seeing yourself in that statement should have made you at least chuckle. We laugh unexpectedly as often when we’re embarrassed as we do when we’re fully engaged in our own amusement at something.
As humans, aren’t we are all judgemental to one degree or other? I could make fun of a situation by pointing out how inept the guys I work with really are. I can say it’s a man thing and I’m having a little fun with that. In my estimation I am amusing myself. However, at what point does that amusement become something else? Where is the line beyond which something becomes insulting? Is hate speech considered so because of the speakers intent, or because of the listeners perception?
When asked whether I would choose to be right or to be kind in any given situation, I will tell you that I choose to be kind. However, I am also going to give you an opinion on any given subject, and if my opinion doesn’t agree with yours, am I being kind? Did my ego, which creates the desire to be right, interfere with my judgement?
I say I am against hate speech, it has to stop. Crimes are committed because of hate speech. Yet I don’t really know at what point I am engaging in hate speech. I believe it is hate when speech creates fear in another person. Hopefully I have never done that, but I can’t say that I haven’t. I know I’ve never threatened another human being with bodily harm. I’ve never used the N word in reference to people of color. I’ve never used the phrase “towel head” to describe a person who wears a turban. I have said that some Muslims are fanatical in their beliefs, then too, I’ve said that about some Christians.
I understand that stereotyping, in nature, is a method of self preservation. If an animal is another animals prey, they are equipped with the ability to detect and identify that predator quickly. Mice immediately know a cat when they smell one. My problem with the concept of stereotyping is that we seem to be using it to divide ourselves from other humans. Are you Caucasian or Non-Caucasian? Are you Gay or Straight? Are you Muslim or Christian? Are you a Believer or Nonbeliever? Are you a Progressive or a Conservative, Democrat or Republican? Granted, none of this is intended to be hateful in nature. I do wonder though, if it doesn’t automatically lead us to label people and allow the creation of a “them” against “us” mentality?
Is that what prevents us from coming together as a united peoples? It seems to me that this allows those who wish to manipulate our lives, a method of keeping us at each others throats while politicians pass bills that aren’t in anyones best interests except for those corporate CEO’s they are trying to woo. We aren’t understanding the reality or the consequences of what’s happening in our various governments today. We’re too busy fighting over whose ideology is the right method of governing. Unfortunately, we the people are the ones getting stuck with the short end of the stick while the upper echelon of our society continues to rob us blind. A situation that may very well exist entirely because we want to be right.