Why So Much Hatred?
A WAVE of hatred is sweeping through the world. You may hear about the massacre of helpless women and children. Mindless carnage may be caused by an exploding bomb in a public place. Or you may read reports such as these:
“Everybody hates and is ready to kill everybody else. Sometimes I am afraid that Lebanon is an indication of what may happen to the whole of humanity.” So lamented Nobel prize winner Isaac Bashevis Singer, and he added: “I tremble at the low state we have fallen into.”—U.S.News & World Report, December 19, 1983.
“After four years of festering protest and a month of mounting violence, India’s oil-rich state of Assam exploded in a paroxysm of communal and religious hatred.”—Time, March 7, 1983.
“West Belfast is the battle zone, where a grotesque ‘peace line’ of steel and concrete slashes through an eerie wilderness of shattered buildings . . . Sheltering among them, the terrorists [of various political persuasions] refresh their hatreds at the same poisoned well of Irish history.”—National Geographic, April 1981.
Hatred is like a cancer in human society. We are supposed to be living in an enlightened world, far removed from the savagery of the past. Yet at all levels of society we see evidence of the sad truth once expressed by a Bible writer: “Hatred stirs up strife.”—Proverbs 10:12, Revised Standard Version, Catholic edition.
Contention and strife are generated by propagandists who pour out floods of misinformation. Goaded on by blind hatred, misguided individuals may then resort to outrageous acts of violence. Yes, legitimate grievances often add fuel to the flames. But when you see the despair, the hopelessness, the agony of numberless victims of hate-inspired prejudice and violence, you may well ask in distress: ‘Why? Why is there so much hatred? Can it possibly be made to disappear? Will the world ever be completely free of hatred?’