Why hate harms yourself

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

I read an article Monastic Strategies: What Are We Doing When We Hate? by Greg Richardson, also known as Strategic Monk.

It reminds me a slogan I heard first in Taizé many years ago: “Don’t fight against things, fight for things.”

But what to do when something that we believe to be wrong has become generally accepted? When Daniel refuses to worship the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar has set up, (Dan 3) he causes trouble to both himself and others.

We can imagine that the political reality was more complex than this report, that there was quite some hate speech in the air when Nebuchadnezzar discovered that Daniel and his friends refused to worship his statue. that the discussions between the two camps were longer than the few reported words. The Bible isn’t a newspaper. It doesn’t provide all journalistic details. The text has been cleaned and simplified in order to focus on what it wants to tell us.

Where is the border between hating some idea and refusing to join it?

I refuse to collaborate with owners of proprietary content. At least I try to do so. I get upset when I read yet another example of how evil copyright has gone. I rarely miss an occasion of spilling some joke that makes people smile and maybe think. Is this hate?

My answer so far: Don’t waste your time fighting against it. Rather invest your time in developing your vision of a solution. Let your jokes out when holding them back would take even more energy. But when people get hurt or feel offended: ask their pardon and don’t insist on your opinion.