In today’s vernacular we might say: “Don’t hate the player, hate the game!” It is easy to mistake what we dislike for being totally devoid of any value for us if we confuse the idea with the person expressing it. We don’t say it, but so many people act out of fear and it often expresses itself as hatred toward other people. We chronically misplace our disdain for an idea with the person expressing it. It is unwise and completely inaccurate to make anyone the embodiment of what we dislike or hate in our world. We disconnect ourselves from each other when we do this. When we decide to hate others, what we are telling ourselves and the world is that we hate some part of ourselves and that we are unwilling to love. Furthermore, when we express our hatred toward others for what they do or say then what we are also saying is: “you are allowed to treat me this way too.” The excuse we use to show our anger toward someone else is what they did or said, but in reality we all have parts of our own lives that we do not care for or that others may disagree with. Getting along with each other does NOT mean that the world must act as we wish it to, but instead that we all must make concessions so that we can equitably share our world with each other.
The most significant part of Gandhi’s short but powerful axiom is “love the sinner.” When we focus on loving those that we disagree with something magical happens, we find the common ground that is required in order for conflict resolution to be had. Importantly, what we express towards others others will end up emulating back to us. When someone comes at you with anger, the most common response is to double down and get angry back no matter what the reason. We find our reasons for anger and hate in those moments of hostility. But when we confront others with authentic loving intentions, then it is easier for us to find those parts of ourselves in those around us. Helping us to feel truly connected to our Earth family. We are all so deserving of wonderful things. What stops us is our own shortsightedness and our quickness to not see ideas but rather focus our venom on people. Who we are is loving and joyful creatures. The more we focus on this the higher quality of life we experience. Each person, no matter who they are and what they think are just as entitled and worthy of everything you wish for in your life too. We are love. We are joy. We are good (even if some of our ideas aren’t).