Robert Burns (1759–1796). Poems and Songs.In illness, I only have energy in my life for what is important. My family, my pets, my friends, my work, my internet family come first. Sometimes my priorites get a little mixed up, but these are generally where my focus and my effort are given.
304. Song—I Murder hate
I MURDER hate by flood or field,
Tho’ glory’s name may screen us;
In wars at home I’ll spend my blood—
Life-giving wars of Venus.
The deities that I adore
Are social Peace and Plenty;
I’m better pleas’d to make one more,
Than be the death of twenty.
Hate filled rhetoric is something I don't listen to, I don't read it, I don't spend energy on it. I find it deplorable, sad, and often the sign that an argument has no basis EXCEPT an emotional one. Hate is a powerful emotion and conjures up fear, paranoia, anger and often gives the hater an adrenal rush - a physical high from the "fight or flight" response:
fight-or-flight response, response to an acute threat to survival that is marked by physical changes, including nervous and endocrine changes, that prepare a human or an animal to react or to retreat. The functions of this response were first described in the early 1900s by American neurologist and physiologist Walter Bradford Cannon.These primitive responses to perceived threats or stress are born into all of us. Hatemongers use these physiological signals to heighten our reactions to their speech and actions, whether in a negative or positive manner. Some may not be aware that our hind brains and autonomic nervous systems are giving more credence to their thoughts than rationally they are worth, but I am sure that most of the higher profile "shouting heads" we see and hear spouting devisive and corrosive opinions in all types of media are very aware of what they are doing. This goes for both liberal and conservative, religious and secular talk. There are no artificial boundaries for people who use this type of manipulation.
When a threat is perceived, the sympathetic nerve fibres of the autonomic nervous system are activated. This leads to the release of certain hormones from the endocrine system. In physiological terms, a major action of these hormones is to initiate a rapid, generalized response. (http://www.britannica.com/ - Fight or Flight response, 2011)
It is a shame that those with the least ability to resist the illogic of the arguments are also those who are more vulnerable both to the emotional overtones and to the fear and the rush that fostering hate gives one. Shame on persons who know they are agitating the unstable among us with fear and hate. Shame on the networks and radio stations and political parties and celebrities that build their reputations climbing over the bones of victims while proclaiming innocence and no intent to incite.
What can we do about stopping this deluge of malintent and misinformation? For one thing, I refuse to give it credence. Arguing back, trying to convince these people they are wrong is just feeding into the "fight" response. Ignoring it entirely is not an option either. This has been done throughout human history and atrocities and genocide have been the result. Education with a forum like this (Love Beats Hate Blogging Event) is a start. Analyzing what you are hearing or seeing, not responding on an emotional level helps. Or we can all do as Robert Burns suggested almost three hundred years ago: concentrate on creating a peaceful society with plenty for all; instead of killing one another, love one another.
In 1972 Bill Withers wrote "Lean on me when you are not strong... for it won't be long until I'm gonna need somebody to lean on". These words ring as true in 2011 as they did then. Let's lean on one another and not tear each other down. Don't waste your energy on hate and negativity. I won't.