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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Thanksgiving Letter

Why do we hate?

There seems to be a lot of hate in the world these days.  Just look at the Middle East.  Hatred has been going on there forever.

Unfortunately, we Americans are not immune to hatred.  This bothers me, especially when we are approaching Thanksgiving.  Look at our political discourse.  The racist venom that has been spewed upon President Obama since he was re-elected has been horrific.  And to my liberal friends, don’t get all high and mighty.  I remember plenty of pictures of President Bush with Nazi symbols spray painted on the picture.

On a smaller scale, why do we seem to feel that we have to bully others?  I suppose, to a certain extent, our brains are wired that way.  Back in the caveman days, the stronger species had to survive, so they killed the weaker.  But have we not learned from our mistakes?  After Columbine, why do so many people still seem to take a casual attitude towards bullying?  Why must we continue to have teen suicide because people think it’s okay to pick on someone who, in most cases, cannot defend themselves?  Why must we pick on someone because they’re gay? 

Is it religion?  My father used to say that, if it weren’t for religion, we would not have had so many wars.  And John Lennon told us to “imagine no religion.”  (Hey, I’m using my dad and John Lennon in the same paragraph…) 

We always hear stories on the news about people coming over from other countries, using our school system to better themselves, yet still hating America.  And we always hear about how so many people hate Muslims, even those who were born in this country and love America.

And what happened to that phrase, “I may not agree with what you said, but I will defend your right to say it.”  Has that gone by the wayside?  I fear it has.

As we approach Thanksgiving, I know that, at some point, I will be asked what I am thankful for.  Of course, I am thankful for my friends and family, especially thankful for an incredibly understanding wife (hey, she does have to live with me, you don’t…), and yet, I feel a bit melancholy.

Because I feel we can do better.  We can do better as a people, and as a nation.  We can dislike whoever is President, and still respect him.  We can talk to our kids about bullying.  And we can try to understand another’s way of life, be they white or black, Catholic, Jewish, or Muslim, gay or straight. 

You know, folks, if you think about it, we are on this earth for a very short time.  We really have very few opportunities for happiness.  Isn’t that what we should be focusing on, rather than hate?
Just because you disagree with someone doesn’t mean you have to hate them. 


Happy Thanksgiving,


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