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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What Is Wrong with Being Nice?

Apparently, I am “too nice”. When did being nice, kind, accepting and empathetic become a bad thing? The message I’m getting from a lot of people is that if they hate something or someone, I am suppose to hate that same something or someone. I try very hard to not hate anyone. I dislike the things people say and do, but I don’t hate the person as a human being. I certainly don’t hate the person because of their connection to another. Yet, I see people who loudly proclaim that they hate people simply for the color of their skin, the religion they follow or the person they love. People that they don’t even know on a personal level. And still, I’m told by these same people to not hate those who I trusted and hurt me on a very personal level… told to just get over and move on. But they can’t get over their irrational hatred and move on. Where is the logic of that?
Just for the record, you never “get over” something that traumatizes you. You can get better at coping with it and you can move forward, but ignoring the event doesn’t make it go away. I’ve discovered that turning around, facing it head on, and confronting the trauma allows for better healing instead of running away from it. That’s not to say it’s easy to do, far from it. And it doesn’t help when you have those who think they are helping you by dictating how you should do this.
This is what I posted on social media, it’s not the first time I have said I felt sorry for Melania Trump:
“This is exactly how I see it too. I am no fan of Donald Trump, but I feel very sorry for Melania Trump, for all of the reasons you listed. I’m tired of people who say “she made her bed…” or “she was just a gold digger, she deserves what she gets”.. or “she knew what she was getting into”.
While Donald Trump is pretty much an open book, we know very little of Melania’s background in comparison. I wonder if she was encouraged by her father to marry a rich man, at any cost, to get out of her Eastern bloc country. I wonder if, like many other manipulating men, Trump was very charming and sweet when they first met and then changed over night after they married and he now “owned” her. I’ve been in relationships like that, twice. It’s a nightmare and it starts out so subtly until you wonder what the fuck happened.
People suggest that she could leave him if she really wanted to. People who say this clearly have no concept of what gaslighting mental sadists can do to your head. After a while you don’t know what end is up. They tell you that you can’t survive without them, that no one will believe you, no one will feel sorry for you, no one will care. The abuser is the only hope you will ever have. It usually takes something extreme to finally find the guts to walk away.
Melania is further handicapped by being in the public eye, from not knowing the history and legalities of the United States, plus have a room full of equally sick male cronies who would support the abuser and attack her as well. Being more in the limelight makes it harder to leave, not easier. If no one knows who you are, it’s much easier to disappear.”
Just to be clear, I don’t “hate” Donald Trump. I dislike the things he says and does and I don’t believe he is qualified to be president of the United States. I don’t hate his children, but I also dislike the things his older children say and do. And I don’t dislike his wife. I consider her, and Trump’s two youngest children to be victims of his narcissistic personality. I do understand Donald Trump and why he says and does the things he does, just as I understood those who abused me. But that understanding doesn’t condone his or their behavior. But to hate someone I don’t even know is illogical. I don’t even hate the people who hurt me.. people I knew and trusted. I am angry about what they did to me and I’m learning to deal with that anger. Trump’s words and actions tend to trigger those intense feelings in me, and if I hate anything, it’s those feelings that I hate.
It’s been my experience and observation that people hate due to several things… fear, inexperience and lack of education. Often times they have been told and taught to dislike something just because a parent, family member or teacher disliked and it becomes a learned behavior. Other times that fear comes from the unknown, simply because they have never experienced or learned about the thing they fear or explored why it was they were afraid of it in the first place. This is especially true when it comes to people.
I’ve seen people say they hated Muslims and when pushed, the reason comes out because Muslims were not Christians. When further pushed and asked what they knew about Islam, it was only that it wasn’t Christian. Fear prevented them from learning anything about Islam. It basically paralyzed them and they clung to the fear like a safety net.
I do understand this.
When I first started studying comparative religions, one belief system I avoided was Satanism. While I’ve never believed in the concept of Satan or Hell, even when I was a devout practicing Christian, those deeply ingrained fears of the Devil where hard to get past. Finally I decided if I was going to study religions, I was going to study ALL religions and delved into everything I could find on Satanism, including talking to people who were self-avowed Satanists. And what I found shocked me. Not in what they believed and practiced, but with the lies I was told about Satan and Satanism by the various churches I had been a member of. That first realization was about the control mentality of organized religion as a whole, and have discovered that also extends to education, medicine and now, politics and our own government.
I remember a story I read years ago about a man who shared about his own education and growth in learning about people he didn’t know anything about and how that lack of knowledge fueled his hatred of people who were different from himself, especially African-Americans. He was a white supremacist and felt that black people were not only second class citizens but that they had no right being a part of white America. He was quite vocal about his views in print and in voice. People started to pay attention to him and he enjoyed that attention. One day he received an email from a reporter requesting an interview. Of course, the man was not about to pass up the opportunity to get his message out to as many people as possible, so he agreed to meet the reporter at a local cafe. When the man walked into the cafe, he stopped dead in his tracks when he saw the reporter sitting at the table and realized the reporter was black. But something propelled him forward.. later he would say maybe it was morbid curiosity or maybe it was a chance to vilify the black man to his face… he couldn’t say, but he walked up to the table where the reporter sat. The reporter immediately rose and reached his hand out to greet the man. The man, startled at the gesture, took his hand to shake and was stunned when he held that reporter’s hand in his own.. it felt warm!! All this time, he had been told that black people were the children of Satan and their bodies were different than whites, and they didn’t circulate warm blood the way his did. He had expected a cold dead touch, not that of a living breathing human being. He later said that everything he had been told to believe was starting to break away, and admitted up to that point, he had never really met a black person, let alone talk to one and most definitely never touched one. Everything he believed about the differences between black and white was based solely on fear. And that became evident with the reporter’s first question. “Why do you hate African-Americans so much?” There was no malice in the question, just a sincere curiosity. No one had ever asked him that question before, certainly not in that way. And the few times someone had, he always responded with white supremacist platitudes and Bible scriptures as if both were proof that his beliefs were true. When he looked into the earnest eyes of the black man sitting across from him, he was so taken aback by the question, that he stammered… “I don’t really know..” He took a few moments to consider the question objectively, probably for the first time in his life and the two men started discussing their educations, upbringing, parents and friends. As they talked, they realized they really were not that far apart on what they felt, knew and believed and that surprised both of them. After many such discussions with one another, and invitations to experience each other’s families, churches and interests, a bond developed between the two men and they became life long friends. The man renounced both his church and the white supremacist ties that he had held for most of his life. He started studying everything about religions, races and people he didn’t know much about. He started meeting people of all kinds and learning about them. And he started writing about tolerance, understanding and acceptance. I don’t remember names very well, so I can’t share the names of these two men. They are not famous, just two ordinary people who discovered extraordinary things when they just took the time learn.

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