These days, I also make it a point of duty to listen to the people I don’t necessarily agree with and pay attention to them. A big example is British columnist Brendan O’Neill whose controversial views on freedom of speech, though understandable are a bit too much for me. I still listen follow his Instagram and read some of his stuff and surprisingly I agree with him on a handful of things. Not much, but considering what he represents in a sense that’s saying a lot. I follow people like Brendan because I released that it’s necessary to not isolate myself from people whose views I don’t agree with, which is something I’ve been guilty of doing in the past.
Going through Twitter today, there was a lot of talk on religion like there is everyday, with a bunch of people airing their views on how much of the bible is crap with pregnant virgins and talking donkeys and so on. Honestly speaking it made me very sad. Especially in the wake of all the hate charged tension in the world, (cue Christchurch) I have to admit that this isn’t the direction anyone should be taking on anything. For example, religion is more like a way of life for some people and a sensitive subject so you can say how you don’t agree with certain elements or even with religion as a whole without being condescending.
To be fair, one may argue that some religions are being disregarded and “tossed to the side” now as karma for centuries of threatening people with a lake of fire while refraining from intellectual dialogue labelled as the spawn of the devil. Maybe this is karma for all the years of killing and hanging other people for holding contrarian beliefs when they just wanted to talk? I don’t know.
We need to get to a place where there isn’t so much unnecessary angst fueled hate that isn’t directed at achieving anything in particular but at “exposing” others that don’t agree with our own points of view as intellectually inferior. Right, Left, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, Atheist, Pro-life, Pro-choice; no matter what side of any concocted divide you’re on, you need to wake up and realise that all humans are intensely complex beings shaped by their personal journeys and experiences.
What’s more, as much as it may kill you inside, as far as it doesn’t threaten you or your safety (not an imaginary sense of a superior self you created) you really have no right to judge or insult someone whose views aren’t directly (or indirectly) harmful to you. You can express your views respectfully as opinions maybe but spreading unnecessary hate reeks of a deeper sense of insecurity. Sometimes you need to ask yourself why you’re so angry about people’s beliefs that have nothing to do with you.
Half the time, I discover that most people that go on a tirade bashing other people’s thought systems have little to no understanding of the systems they’re trying to bring down. Hate is a powerful thing even when consumed in small doses. You shoot up for ten seconds next thing you’re running a marathon kicking down everyone in your way…most people go too far before they realise that their hate is premised on deep rooted issues, or they recognise a different version of their hate in someone else. Unfortunately for a good number of people, they never realise how far their hate is taking them till they’ve caused pain to a ton of others.
I have my own biases that I struggle with everyday, heck don’t be surprised if you see me tomorrow saying something that’s not in line with the tune of this post. But I like to believe I’m more aware of my biases that most people and I try to call myself to order when I’m thinking something I shouldn’t be so it doesn’t leak into my actions and by extension my character lol.
Ultimately you can be secure in your beliefs without going out of your way to spread hate. We can do better.