Saturday, November 28, 2015

Why I Hate People

I hate people. This is something I've been increasingly realizing about myself over the past 5 years or so.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I *love* people - but I hate them as well. I definitely hate them to a lesser extent, but on some days I feel both in equal measure.

I think the biggest drivers of my hatred for people are:
1. Their seeming inability to think critically
2. Their lack of empathy
3. Their willful ignorance

I am reminded of my hatred when I take time to observe and consider the things people say and do. For me, the most egregious offenders are highly educated/well-read people whose emotions will not permit them to analyze difficult things through objective lenses. I feel this way because they should know better. 

This feeling seems to present itself most often in partisan discourse on whatever the subject of the day is - be it issues like racism and systemic injustice, or stuff like religious ideology and the broader implications thereof. For example, why can't some people see that it is shortsighted to say something like "all lives matter" in response to hearing or reading "black lives matter"?

Though I listed three things above that drive my hatred of people, continuing to think as I'm writing has helped me to see that one point encompasses the other two, and that is the second one: lack of empathy.

If we seek to show others empathy (including those we don't particularly care for), we will think more critically and less so in a self-serving fashion. Additionally, in seeking to identify with others, we will not be willfully ignorant of the issues that matter to them.

I halfway felt like it would be appropriate to discuss how I try to apply these feelings of mine as a theologically conservative Christian (this is not a statement about my political beliefs), but I struggled to state it concisely. Suffice it to say that my personal goal is to love others in the same way that I have been loved by God - namely, with empathy and compassion.

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