You’ve Got To Be Taught To Hate

David - Falmouth, Maine
Entered on November 15, 2008

There is a song in the Rogers and Hammerstein musical “South Pacific” that says “You’ve got to be taught to hate.” I believe that.

Watch little children interact with each other. They have a clean slate to begin with. They are totally tolerant and accepting of differences whether in appearance, language or even physical infirmities. It is only in the way they see or hear adults react to others that they begin to be taught that differences matter.

So what drives these adults to teach hate, to teach that others are not deserving of the adage do unto others as you would have them do unto you? I believe it is fear of the unknown, fear of something different, fear of change in their lives or the need to see they might be wrong in their judgments.

Currently, some of the people most affected by this fear driven hate are those whose sexual preferences are different from traditionally accepted norms. The fear of allowing gays and lesbians to marry, as recognized by the state not the churches, is a perfect example of irrational fear. Somehow it is said by those who fear the differences that allowing this will harm the institution of marriage. When two people wish to make a formal and legal commitment to each other it should be recognized by the state. This is a secular not a religious issue. No one has suggested forcing any organized religion to perform a ceremony against their tenets.

Let us stop teaching children to hate and perhaps we can create a better, more peaceful world. We need to teach that differences among people make for a better, more interesting world and that learning about the differences can enhance our lives rather than hurt them. I do not suggest that we can eradicate hate but to stop teaching it to our young minds would go a long way to making all our lives more enriched.