A few trips around the sun ago, I used to earn a living as a fitness trainer and was often encouraging people to engage in resistance training. They would do a series of exercises pushing or pulling against some form of resistance. This was most commonly weights of some sort, but might also be elastic cords or their own body weight. What was the result of resistance training? They got stronger and stronger.
A few weeks ago, elections to the European Parliament were held in my native UK, and many were dismayed to see that the British National Party (a far right wing political party with policies not dissimilar to the Nazi party) won a handful of European Parliament seats, including one in my current home county of Yorkshire.
Within days, I began to be contacted, particularly on the social network Facebook, by various groups inviting me to join them. They had names such as 'Get The BNP Out Of Yorkshire', '1 Million United Against the BNP' and the rather less polite 'F*** the BNP'.
I declined these invitations on the grounds that I am certain every one of these groups will serve only to strengthen the British National Party. What we resist, persists. Not only that, but browsing the group walls, the rank hypocrisy was readily apparent.
Jim: I hate the BNP, they are so full of hatred!
Jayne: Yeh, I can't stand that hating business. I bloody hate that!
Jules: Who do they think they are with their hating people? I effing hate that kind of thing. We should kill the effing lot of them.
I was also reminded of a time a few weeks earlier, when a friend of mine had invited me to join a group whose aim it was to continue treating the killers of James Bulger with the same kind of harsh cruelty that they had dealt out to their unfortunate victim. I politely declined, explaining that what we resist, persists.
My friend responded with the question, 'But aren't some things worth fighting for?' My response was as follows.
Some things very definitely are worth fighting for, yes.
But nothing is worth fighting against. Because fighting against things almost always makes them worse. What we resist persists. Fighting against things is at best a completely futile waste of time. Almost always, it is worse than futile, it actually makes the situation worse.
If you don't want hate and cruelty in the world, then strive for love. If you don't want children or young adults to become or remain sadistic, the very worst thing you can do is have your own sadistic thoughts of punishment and revenge towards them. We all want to make sure that killers do not kill again. Is the best way to do that to completely dehumanise them and treat them as if they are monsters? How are people likely to act if you make them feel like they are monsters, I wonder? That can never, ever work. Only love can conquer hate. If you fight fire with fire, you get a bigger fire.
"Only love can conquer hate." - Marvin Gaye
We need to focus unwaveringly on what we do want, not on what we don't want. Whatever you focus on, you will get more of in your life, even if you are saying in your head 'I don't want this!'.
If I say to you now: 'Don't think of a polar bear!' What happens?
If we want our life and our world filled with love, each of us has to focus unwaveringly on love. But sadly, few currently grasp this. Politicians keep giving us speeches telling us that they will be better than that other terrible lot, that they are completely against the opposition's policies. How refreshing it would be to see one who is actually for something for a change. How readily people are willing to join a group which is anti-this or anti-that, but reluctant to join an organisation promoting love, beauty, kindness and acceptance.
All change starts with self. If we give out hatred, even if it seems justified, the world will continue to be filled with hatred. Each of us has to stand up and take responsibility for what we are bringing to the world. Let us be pro-active rather than re-active. Let us love rather than hate.
"Be the change you want to see in the world.""
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