- Hate groups are on the rise. Politicians won’t change it. It is up to us, as enlightened human beings, to be the ones to bring about peace and love.
- Scientific research reveals why people join hate groups. And (vitally) hidden within that research are the keys to stopping hate.
- By understanding the core causes of hate, we can learn to create love, for ourselves and for the world.
On Saturday, a young man of 20 (barely old enough to be out of university), made the conscious decision to drive a silver Dodge Challenger straight through a crowd of protestors in Charlottesville.
Screams pierced the air. Thud after thud erupted as the Dodge Challenger ran into innocent people. A mangled mesh of broken bodies was left in its wake.
What sickness could possibly drive a person to consciously carry out this attack?
It was supposed to be a time of love.
In the wake of the attack the street was littered with signs reading, “SOLIDATIRY”, “BLACK LIVES MATTER” and, yes, “LOVE”.
Reporters flooded to the scene. The attack spread across the media. The latest in a wave of attacks around the world.
We are living in a time of hate.
Every compassionate, enlightened person on the face of the Earth is being challenged to make a difference.
And millions of people are stepping up to make a difference.
We’ve seen that firsthand, through messages to our Facebook and email, that enlightened people around the world are truly fighting to change things.
And yes, it is us against the world.
What we are facing right now is the result of fractured societies around the world. Nationalistic pride is at an all-time high. Political rhetoric, combined with the media and a broken capitalist society is turning people to hate.
Hate groups are on the rise.
Want to see what hate looks like?
THE DAILY MEDITATION has created this infographic to illustrate how hate has spread throughout the U.S. (and this is mirrored in many other countries around the world).
Hate groups are destroying the world.
World leaders will not change this situation.
Heidi Beirich from the Southern Poverty Law Center is a leading authority on hate-groups. She tells us there has never been a time in history when hate spread faster than it is today.
The internet is largely to blame.
“There’s so much proliferation of hate propaganda with the Internet,” says Beirich. (source:NBC)
Beirich says that Trump’s decision to blame “two sides” for the clash on Saturday will prompt more people to join hate groups. “They were already planning more, but they’ve basically gotten the seal of approval from the highest office of the land.”
If it were left to leaders we’d drown in hate groups.
It’s up to we precious enlightened individuals like you and me to turn this hate into love one person at a time.
The key lies in understanding why unenlightened people hate others, and why someone would join a hate group in the first place.
Once we understand the root cause of hate we will know how to change it.
As the famous Buddha quote says, “Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love. This is the eternal rule.”
Love is the key to ending hate. And to love we must understand. When we do understand we will know how to stop hate and how to create love.
So let us understand.
Let us understand how the hatred in extreme groups comes about, and how one person can be so determined to harm another.
How can the human mind become so sick that a person is willing to get maced by police, attacked by counter-protestors, and ordered to leave their home town, all just so that they can hurt another human being?
Why people join hate groups
Decades of psychological research tells us why people join hate groups and why violent behaviour like that of the White Nationalists and Neo-Nazis exists.
In the 1970s psychologist Philip Zimbardo studied prisons and discovered how social dynamics are a key factor in hate-groups.
Human-beings judge their behaviour relative to that of other people. When we see violent attacks, we become accustomed to them. A person at a prison who sees another person stabbed is not likely to care too much about punching someone in the face, where someone who has spent their life in a Buddhist monetary may be disgusted and deeply saddened by a fist-fight.
This explains how violence escalates at protests. A person sees other people acting violent and suddenly it seems socially acceptable to be aggressive.
Aggression is also prompted by extended periods of frustration.
Even peaceful people like you and I know what this feels like. We gradually become more and more frustrated until we say something we shouldn’t. To you and me this is likely just a mild snap at someone, but to a violent person frustration can lead to vicious attacks.
Then there’s attribution theory.
Attribution theory states that we stereotype other people when we have little exposure to the groups they come from.
The reason many unenlightened people wrongly hate Muslims (for example) is because they have no exposure to them. The few Muslims they have seen are on the news—the ones carrying out attacks. Because of this, they wrongly learn to associate Muslims with terrorism. And it’s easy to see how that leads to hate.
Then there is plain simple fear.
Why do some unenlightened people hate LGBT community? Many people who do hate LGBTs are confused about their own sexuality. They (again wrongly) fear that they may become homosexual, so they lash out at other people who are homosexual.
This would not happen if the person didn’t fear a part of themselves. Complete self-acceptance would end this problem.
Finally, there is the simple fact that people who feel excluded are often motivated to go to extreme lengths just to fit in anywhere. A lonely individual who has no one in the world is far more likely to join a hate group just to belong somewhere.
Lack of exposure.
Seeing messages from extremists on social media.
Longing to fit in.
These are the primary reasons why people join hate groups and why people hate in the first place.
It isn’t all doom and gloom.
Dark days can lead to golden skies.
Like Barack Obama said (quote):
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin or his background or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love.”
If they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love.
Love is always within us.
Enlightened people can always create even more love. And people who are hateful can change and they can learn to love.
Above we’ve looked at why hate exists.
It’s time to turn hate to love.
5 Ways To Turn Hate To Love (Because we, as enlightened people, are the ones who must bring about this change)
- Drown fear in love
Fear is the number one cause of hate. Unenlightened people hate the people they fear. And they hate the type of person they fear becoming.
Enlightened people accept every aspect of themselves and every aspect of other people. That’s why most enlightened people like to travel a lot, so they can be exposed to all different cultures and different people.
When everyone in the world accepts each other, we will live in peace and happiness.
One of the fastest ways of creating the acceptance and appreciation that leads to love is with meditation.
Loving Kindness Meditation is a powerful way of turning hate to love.
Scientific research has shown that Loving Kindness Meditation can actually stop racism in just 20 minutes.
Take a look at that link above. It is one of the main ways enlightened people turn hate into love.
- Expose yourself to the beauty of different people and different cultures
People fear and dislike those they don’t understand.
One of the main reasons why schools started doing Student Exchange Programs was in order to expose young people to different cultures so they would learn to appreciate and understand different people.
The more types of people we are exposed to and the more cultures we experience, the more we learn to love people for their differences.
Here’s a challenge: Pick one country or culture to learn about and spend the next 20 minutes reading up on it. This is a great exercise for opening the mind. And it makes us more loving of different people.
- Surround yourself with positive, compassionate, loving people (and be one yourself)
One of the main reasons why people become aggressive is because they mix with the wrong crowd.
Our social groups have a huge impact on our behaviour. That’s why the more positive people we associate with, the more loving we will be. People with a compassionate and loving social group are the best people around.
We must associate with positive people. And we must be an inspiring source of positivity ourselves.
As enlightened people, we must always be loving, compassionate and positive ourselves too. That way we encourage other people to be likewise.
- Guard your social media and fill it with positivity
Research shows that social media has a huge impact on us in both a positive and negative way. Social media pages like THE DAILY MEDITATION’s inspire love, kindness and positivity. But some other pages do the opposite.
Take a look at this article about how Facebook creates loneliness and depression. You will be shocked.
Thankfully, we can change this.
Here’s a smart strategy:
- Visit your top social media site
- Go to your list
- Scroll through.
- Every time you find someone or a page that is a source of negativity, remove them / it.
Now your social media is pure positivity.
- Appreciate your family, your friends, and your social groups
A happy family is the surest recipe for inner peace and outer love. That’s why it’s important to express gratitude and appreciation for your family / friends / social group.
Here’s a genius idea:
- Write a list of 10 people who you are truly thankful for.
- Go to your email or Facebook.
- Write a brief message to each of them simply saying, “Hey. Thanks for being [compliment].
This exercise feels great for both ourselves and the people we message.
These 5 strategies will boost your levels of love and remove hate from your life (if you have any).
We must change the world.
It is up to enlightened humanbeings like you and I to be the ones who create peace and love.
Now is the time to do it.