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Improving the world -- one person at a time. . .


SolarMaxx

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In the same why that sexual orientation is not a CHOISE -- I'm wondering if hatred is. Albeit taught, often at an early age before insight can develop, I'm wondering if hatred can be neutralized in a damaged person -- poisoned from birth -- under the right circumstances! Is it actually possible to choose to want to change? If so, maybe one needs to extend tolerance to cultivate tolerance in others. Maybe we are all meant to "better" this world one person at a time.

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I don't believe people are born to hate and much of it is learned from watching and listening to those closest to them, especially in the formative years.  It may also be formed through negative interactions with certain people or groups as the person is growing up.  Therefore, anything learned can be altered, not quite the same as being unlearned, but I think that depends on how deeply ingrained the hatred is.  I believe the earlier one learns to hate something or someone, including groups, and the longer that belief is held, the harder it is to convince the person his belief is wrong.  Such intervention would have to be done when the individual is younger or would take place closer to the time the hatred was formed in order to be effective.  The longer that belief is held, the more difficult it will be to change it, unless something drastic or radical occurs.  .  

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I think aggression and hostility come with our biochemstry, and they're part of the equipment we've been given to help keep us alive, both individually and as a species.

 

However, we don't have to be ruled by it, and what we do with it is learned. We don't have to hate or hurt others. There's a "still more excellent way." The Buddha taught it as compassion. Jesus taught it as unconditional acceptace and unconditional forgiveness. There are plenty of people outside of any religion, too, who embrace values that pull us back from the cliff of our own rage.

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Choice is an interesting buzz word when it comes to any social issue. Free will means we can't MAKE anyone do anything, but that doesn't stop other people from trying. Intolerance for sexuality is very common, right up there with racial profiling, religious persecution, etc... It can be as simple as a kid using the word fag to insult someone, without even really knowing what it means, to Westboro Baptist protesting at military funerals for fallen soldiers that don't fit in their ideals of a worthy human being.

 

And you can't take that choice away from them. You can argue against it, you can ignore it, but you can't force your choice to be open-minded on anyone else if they don't want to see things from your point-of-view. But people CAN change, if give the chance. I've seen it. I've pushed back at family in my life who are bigots, peacefully and with logic, and got them to agree to stop using hateful language around me and mine. It's a slow process. My husband's family were using quite a few gay slurs last weekend up camping when sitting around the fire visiting, laughing like it was funny, but I wasn't laughing. They've toned down some of the slurs over the years, because I find them offensive and asked they stop, but people don't change overnight on how they've been taught to think and speak.

 

Some families beliefs are too entrenched in social bigotry or religious intolerance to be that easy to change. With strangers, you don't know why they are the way they are. It's much harder to combat when you don't know what will get through to a person. Sometimes you just can't. I'll probably never make the choice to march in a protest or wave banners during a vote, that's not my style. Others do, and that's great. I will continue to work on my family and friends, and teach my kids to accept diversity and reject bullying and hate. I teach them they can't take away the bully's choice to be mean, but they can stand up and say it's wrong, and make sure the person being hurt knows they don't have to suffer it alone--no matter what they're being bullied for. I believe in making changes around us, and the more people try to do that, the better off we all will be.

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I don't think I am as brave as Cia, who speaks out against language of hatred.  Well, I don't usually, though I've done such before.  If more people are more outspoken on such issues and against hatred (in general, not just against sexual orientation per se), then world would probably be more exposed to the issue and sit down and talk about what made them feel that way.  Most of them are ignorant of the issues, and don't realize their view points are hurtful.  I've quite had enough of some of my relatives, but for the sake of social agreeableness and doesn't want the h*ll break loose, I swallow my pride and protest in silence.

 

If one's hatred was in-born, then I suppose it cannot be changed, or at least, it would run against their grain to be not resentful to everything.  Not saying reformation isn't possible, nor should we judge by their inherited trait, as who they've become rather than what they were born to be that's more important.  I was just watching Daria, but in her case, I think it was just teenage rebellion, which is a normal part of growing up, and I would think that might even have some biochemical influence or genetically induced.  People do grow out of it, if it's just hormone.  And people will become less vengeful, if the cause was ignorance and can be educated.  The one people shall be wary of is the willing hatefulness, the one backed by reasons rather than out of irrational passion, as it is far more destructive.

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Ahh, but there are those who are far more vocal than I am. I work on a small scale. I think, in a way, it's easier for me. I have kids that need to be taught what is right and what is wrong. I also have to deal with the idea of them possibly being bi like me, or gay, or straight but having really weird taste in partners... First and foremost, I want them to know that no matter what they are into, they're just fine. I love them no matter what. The natural progression of being okay with yourself is that you should be okay with others--if they're not harming anyone else, even if what they're into isn't what you're into, that's their business. I grew up with a bigoted parent. I know how that can mess with you, if you don't have your head screwed on right. I won't let that happen to them.

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