This I Believe

Carol - Encinitas, California
Entered on May 30, 2006

I believe it’s easier to hate than to love

May 27, 2006

I believe it’s easy, much too easy, to hate and be angry than to have compassion and show love. I have felt this on my own and see it now every day. I remember a time five years ago, being in the airport trying to fly home in time to see my mother before she died. I was stunned, in shock, and entirely preoccupied. How many people was I rude to, cut off, or just didn’t notice? I don’t know. I have been in airports more times than I can count and, like so many other places, how many times have I scowled at someone because they didn’t show me what I felt was a basic courtesy? Sure, some of these people may be just rude at that moment, but how many are dealing with other dramas of life and simply not paying attention because they cannot. I believe we owe it to everyone around us to offer the benefit of the doubt and do our very best to give a little forgiveness rather than try to shame people into courtesy. How many times at a traffic light have you been just thinking of something really hard when you hear the honk of the person behind (or in front of) you? How many times have we jumped to presume to know the motives of a celebrity or even a friend when they don’t act as we desire? How many times have entire political bodies chosen to blame victims of crimes rather than to really look at what is going on?

I believe humans are inherently good. But we err. We make mistakes of judgement, we don’t make the right choices either in a moment with a stranger or in how we perform in our jobs. We make mistakes. But hopefully we learn too.

I believe we all could learn to stop a moment and try, try, to understand where another person is coming from before we make a decision about what they just did or what they really meant. I believe this can be expanded to our world view. People all over the world are good, but circumstances have lead so many to act out in anger, hatred, and violence because sometimes it’s just too hard to understand what another person may really be about. I believe we all need to try just a little bit harder, every day, every moment, to understand those around us. And if we can do that, everyone, the world really could be a better place for everyone.