This is the conversation I overheard on the bus yesterday and I've been mulling it over ever since. The context of the questions appeared to be something like this... These two guys (undergrads are my guess) were discussing the validity of hating people who are in hate groups, groups who hate for the sake of hating, based on race, religion or culture. That got me thinking... What did I think. Well I figure it can be broken down into two issues; prejudice and retribution.
1. Prejudice. I have my own prejudice. I believe that if you say that you don't, you really haven't spent much time on introspection. I am open to my own prejudice, and actively question myself on them. I find that as I am exposed to people from many different cultures on a daily basis, I form opinions on their cultures, which are of course based on my own cultural experience. The trick is not to make value judgements in my own mind, and when I find myself making them, to stop. Also, they need to be malleable enough so that they can evolve over time. I mean, we are all different. That's a good thing. I know that sometimes I snap to judgement of someone I meet on the street, but I'd like to think that I'm open enough to look past that. Different certainly doesn't mean better.
2. Retribution: Revenge. People feel justified in hating someone or something because they don't agree with their opinions. Hate the haters. I'm not sure I can get into that. First of all, hating takes a lot of energy. It takes away from something positive somewhere. It serves no purpose but to propagate more hate and indifference. Doesn't make what they do right or wrong. I know I would probably feel differently if someones prejudice ended up directly hurting someone close to me. But on an ongoing basis, I'm going to try to be more tolerant. It may end up that the most effective way to diffuse a situation is to not participate. I don't have all the answers but I believe that during this time coming up to Easter, my faith tells me that 'love they neighbour' is more important than 'eye for an eye'.
So, I still don't have all the answers. Just questions that I'm willing to ask.