No good comes when all that’s left is hatred and rage. Hatred and rage must be cultivated, watered, and fertilized over many seasons to produce fruits of bitterness. Who planted the seeds of hatred and rage? Who watered and cultivated this vile garden? As Pogo aka Walt Kelly said long ago, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”
We need to roundup this garden and kill all the plants. Do you know angry people? Do you know people who rage? Do you know anyone who is consumed with hatred? Round them up and listen to them. Let them unleash the worst they have on you. Let them get the poison out of their systems. Ask them how you might help them. Then, pray for them right then and there.
I’ve encountered angry people, sometimes even through my weekly columns. Readers’ angry and hateful comments have never hurt or threatened me, though I suspect their own rage has made them bitter.
I’ve been angry many times before, even to the point of rage and, yes, hate. Not once have anger, rage, or hate ever done me good, but in every case these three have made me bitter. That’s not a good place to be.
Laws don’t make us rage, and laws can’t prevent anyone from hating. This summer of hate has nothing to do with law enforcement. It’s more about vengeance, arrogance, and pride. You know, pride is not a virtue, though many have touted pride as a good thing to their own detriment and downfall. Pride is just another name for self-righteousness and generally always comes before a big fall.
The next two weeks promise many opportunities for rage and hate to overrun and spill into city streets. The Republican National Convention this week in Cleveland and the Democratic National Convention next week in Philadelphia will provide platforms for all manner of hate speech. Wall to wall media coverage 24/7 on cable channels will compete with dozens of social media channels. It will be hot inside and out. People will get mad. Everyone will be self-righteous and indignant.
Perhaps it’s time our leaders began showing a little humility. If they truly are leaders, then followers might catch a little of that trickle down humility. Pride hasn’t worked. Arrogance hasn’t worked. Flouting the law hasn’t worked. Humility brings one to pause, reflect, and reconsider.
Rage, anger and hate will dominate the news alongside blame for the rest of the summer. More will kill, and more will die. Justice will disappear leaving just us. Us against them will continue to divide us according to Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals.
Top off domestic division and violence with a sprinkles of Islamic terrorism festering in our midst. It’s here and it’s going to get worse while we are fighting amongst ourselves. These will form the backdrop for electing the least liked president in American history whoever wins. After the hoopla in November and the holidays, we’ll return to our routines in January and hope something new will change things for the better.
We’re all responsible for this mess, so we’d better stop fighting ‘them’ and get back to humbly helping our neighbors.
Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville, Miss. He can be reached at PJandMe2@hotmail.com.