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To Hate or To Love—That is the Question

Debra & Larry Redalia


Over the last several years, and particularly recently, there seems to be an escalation of hate going on in America, and indeed, in the world. So we want to say a few words about hate and many more words about love.

The dictionary definition of hate is

intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury.

Certainly, the actions of some people recently have come from fear, anger, or sense of injury.

Our definition of hate is

intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from the absence of love.

In Nature, there is no hate. All species work cooperatively together for the common good. Yes, they are constantly killing and eating each other's bodies, but only for survival, not out of hate.

Love is our natural state as human beings, in fact, the very essence of humanity is love.

We have observed that hate can be removed from a person’s mind, but love cannot be removed.

There’s a famous song from the Rogers & Hammerstein musical South Pacific, “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught”. It is sung by Lieutenant Cable after he says "[Racism] is not born in you! It happens after you’re born."

You've got to be taught to hate and fear
You've got to be taught from year to year
It's got to be drummed in your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught


You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made
And people whose skin is a diff'rent shade
You've got to be carefully taught


You've got to be taught before it's too late
Before you are six or seven or eight
To hate all the people your relatives hate
You've got to be carefully taught


I, Debra, think I was not taught this lesson because I have no hate within me for anyone of any color skin.

I was born in Oakland, California in 1955 when it was common for white children to have black nannies. My mother owned a little hole-in-the-wall shop downtown where she sold nylon stockings. Of course, she carried me to work with her every day when my body was in her womb, but once I was born I had a black nannie. She would take care of me at home in the mornings and bring me down to the shop in the afternoons. And so all I knew of black skin from birth was love.

We love all people and all cultures. It is very interesting to me to learn about other cultures. I love to travel and eat different foods and see how people live in different places. One of the tragedies of industrialization, to me, is that it has an intent to make everyone universally the same, in whatever way industrialization wants us to be. Individuality is eliminated. I am the opposite. I want all the nationalities and regions and individuals. Because that is the way Nature is. Nature is unique down to every snowflake being different. Each one of us has our own set of fingerprints. Nature abhors sameness.

We have a friend Joyce, who has black skin but does not think of herself as a black woman. She is simply a spiritual being wearing black skin, like wearing a black coat. She once said to us, “If I have to be a color, let me be chartreuse!”

We don’t have any life experience that would cause me to hate people of any color, or fear them, and I have not been injured by any people of color. But I understand that other people have had experiences of harm or have had prejudice passed down to them—they have been carefully taught to hate. But when we look past the skin, we are all human beings. We have more in common than we are different. We know if we can love, then every other human being has the capacity to love too—whether they know it or not, whether they exercise it or not.

Again, love is inherent in every human being.

A few weeks ago on a news program, we saw an interview with Shannon Foley Martinez, a former violent white supremacist (yes that’s right, a former violent white supremacist) who now works helping other white supremacists make other choices. She said that most people join such groups because they have needs that are not being met, which are met by the radical hate group. They find in these groups a sense of belonging. Shannon told her own story of how things changed for her when a family took her in and loved her. They loved her. They loved her and she began to love others instead of hating, and stopped being a white supremacist.

If hate is intense hostility and aversion usually deriving from the absence of love, why is there so much hate and so little love?

I would say it is a lack of spirit. We humans are made up of body, mind, and spirit, yet this is not widely recognized or encouraged in our industrial consumer culture. Love lies dormant in our society because it is not awakened or honored. Spirit is the source of love, and it is present and available to anyone and everyone.

The solution really is that simple. Just love. There is no room for hate in a heart filled with love. It just doesn't occur. That may be easier said than done, but we get what we put our attention on. Put your attention on love and see what happens. Love is irresistible.

Welcome to Lifely!

Quite simply, this blog is about orienting ourselves and our lives to Life, instead of orienting ourselves and our lives to industrial consumerism. Here we are sharing our own journey. You come too. Read more...

Debra & Larry Redalia
lifepartners + soulmates

For more than 30 years we have been delving into the nature and activities of life together. Indeed, this has been and continues to be the very reason we are together. With delight, we research, explore, observe, and even wake each other up in the middle of the night to discuss how life functions and how we can function as life—even while living in the modern world. We each are different from the norm, but we are different in the same way, so we have been able to think outside of the ordinary together and find the extraordinary workings of life.

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