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Getting Past Hatred

Posted by mcm0704 on February 27, 2017 |

This meme made me smile. The message is a clever response to the adage, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”

I’ll take a little sugar and water, please.

I’m posting the blog late today. I started writing it this morning, but had to stop because of pain in my head. When the pain eased up, I decided to take part of the afternoon off and go to meet with my knitting group. Knitting is so relaxing, as is visiting with good friends, and I am feeling much better now.

Before I gave up on the writing this morning, I ran across a blog post that caught my interest. It was written by one of my writing friends, Warren Bell, who has published a number of historical novels set in the years of WWII and the Vietnam War. As a former military man – he spent 29 years in the Navy – he has an insider’s view of combat, and he has obviously thought a lot about conflict and how people view others.

The post is titled, Why Must We Demonize Those Who Disagree, and he has some interesting insights. First, he explained how the military has always demonized the enemy, based on the thinking that it would make it easier for soldiers to kill another human being if they were somehow portrayed as less than human.

Going on to reference the climate of hate that has been created in the United States in recent months, he wrote:

Driving wedges between various segments of society will never result in a peaceful civilization. Breeding hatred is a sure path to the disintegration of any culture.

Wise words that we should take to heart.

We should also find ways to get those wedges removed, maybe starting with getting rid of the attitude of “us” vs “them” that breeds hatred and bigotry.

That is a huge leap for many people, but maybe the distance can be crossed one little step at a time. When I first started working on changing my attitudes, I found it extremely helpful to get to know people of a different color and/or culture. I forgot about what I had been told about people of color and people who practice a religion different from mine, and tried to see the humanness that we share.

With Twitter and Facebook abounding with ugly rhetoric, it is all to easy to respond to hatred with hatred. Resisting that urge is hard to do, but I try to control the knee-jerk reaction that wants to shout back and find a way to respond that invites that other person to get past the hate as well.

What about you? Have you done anything specific to get past attitudes that foster that great divide between people? Any advice you want to share in a comment?

WRITING WISDOM

Julia Munroe Martin wrote a terrific post over at Writer Unboxed titled Gettin’ by with a Little Help From Your Friends. She shared her experiences with having writing friends who are also “accountability partners” and different from critique partners. The purpose of having an accountability  partner is to help us stay on our writing track. Whether that be offering inspiration, telling us to get off our duff – or off social media – and write, or bolstering our sagging writing spirits when we have one of those days when we don’t think we can write another word.

I have had a lot of critique partners, and groups, and those have served me well over the years, but I have not had accountability partners.

Julia mentions that she has several, who all serve a different role. Each morning one partner sends a text as a prompt, as if to say, “Let’s get going,” which is similar to how some of my mornings started eons ago. A writer friend and I would often chat on the phone in the morning, and one of us would have to be the one to say, “You know, we really should be writing instead of chatting.”

The text message works the same way, only faster, and I can see the benefit in that.

Since writing is such a solitary endeavor, it is often hard for us to be disciplined day after day, and this from Julia is spot on:

When you know you will be accounting to someone, it gives you a reason to come back to the writing even on days it’s not easy.

So I may try to set up an accountability partner. Even if it is just a simple message in the morning to get off social media.

What about you? Do you have people who help you stay focused on writing?

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