How to Drive Out the Darkness of Hate

A single lit candle
We are not here to curse the darkness, but to light the candle, a light that can guide us through this darkness toward a safe and sane future.

by Michael Corthell

When we are confronted with very real hatred and violence in our world, the talk of peace or love can sound meaningless, ineffective, and sometimes even offensive.

Racism and hatred are like powerful viruses that are seemingly impossible to destroy once they take root in a person's soul. Nearly every day we witness this destructive hatred in our world. It comes in many forms of violence against others, with mass murder being the most shocking.

Sometimes I think hate, is stronger than love but then I realize that this is only a temporary illusion.

Sometimes I get depressed when I see my fellow human beings try to destroy others because of their race, because of their religion, because of their gender, or because of their political views. Most of us are horrified by terrorism -- that people are willing to kill themselves in order to kill others who think or believe differently than them.

The one who hates may discriminate, but hatred, that foundational evil does not. When hatred is allowed to fully develop, it has the very real potential of both destroying the hater and the hated. Hatred does not care about all the names we call each other -- the labels that divide and separate us.
When this evil of the soul, this spiritual disease is allowed to bloom and thrive, no one can be safe.
You and I can't afford to remain silent in the face of violence, racism and hatred -- ever. We can't afford to give in to fear, hopelessness, or despair. We must be willing to confront hatred wherever we see it, because in this spiritual war, there are no bystanders. We must speak up and speak out.

How do we fight this evil effectively? Some try to confront hatred with even more hatred. That will never do, it never has worked and it never will. Only light can drive out darkness and only love can drive out hate. The only truly effective weapon against hatred is love.
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. For love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
-- Nelson Mandela
In order to bring the love of God and the love of humanity to dark places, we must be willing to become instruments of peace...

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