Now that you’ve read it, here’s what I got out of the post:
The author uses gay people as an example of a group of people that are hated. He also notes that people are hated for being addicts, or for practicing some religion, or for a whole host of stupid reasons, really. In all honesty, I don’t actually know anyone who’s gay. If I do know someone who’s gay, they haven’t told me about it, and I haven’t asked. Why? Because I simply don’t care. I’m not going to answer the question “Do I want to associate myself with person X” based on their sexual orientation, skin color, religion, etc. I am going to base it on things like “Is this person not rude to me?”, and “Are they good at what they do?”, “Are they fun to hang out with?”, etc. I don’t know what it’s like to be gay, and what problems gay people have so I really don’t have much to say on the topic. But, in any event, the point is that groups of people are loathed for completely nonsensical reasons. I genuinely do believe that the world would be a better place if we can stop this ridiculousness. But how?
This guy’s answer is:
Find somebody, anybody, that’s different than you. Somebody that has made you feel ill-will or even [gulp…] hateful. Somebody whose life decisions have made you uncomfortable. Somebody who practices a different religion than you do. Somebody who has been lost to addiction. Somebody with a criminal past. Somebody who dresses “below” you. Somebody with disabilities. Somebody who lives an alternative lifestyle. Somebody without a home.
Somebody that you, until now, would always avoid, always look down on, and always be disgusted by.
Reach your arm out and put it around them.
And then, tell them they’re all right. Tell them they have a friend. Tell them you love them.
I disagree. By nature, human beings don’t trust each other (and history suggests that this is for good reason). If you can’t trust someone, you can’t love them. Besides, there really are bad people out there. You cannot possibly think that Bin Laden, or Hitler are worthy of my love. If you do, well… you’ve got problems.
You will never find me roaming around 16th and Mission at night talking to the homeless people who’re trying to sell me drugs and god knows what else. In fact, I’ll do my best to avoid them. I have no wish to get stabbed or otherwise injured 3. I’m sure they’ve got problems — everyone does. Theirs may be far worse than mine, but it doesn’t matter. It’s not my job to fix the world. There’re some people who I’d like to take care of and watch out for, but the homeless guy isn’t one of them. It’s also not my job to go actively make life worse for these people by throwing stuff at them, or yelling at them, or whatever. That’s why I don’t.
So yeah, I’m not going to put my arm around you and say: “You have a friend. You’re all right” because you’re gay. I’m also not going to loathe you for being gay. I’m going to treat you just like I would anyone else. I really don’t care if you’re straight, gay, Muslim, Hindu, Christian, black, white, blue, or green. If we do become friends for other reasons, then sure - I’m happy to try and help with problems you may have.
So, I leave you with my solution: You don’t have to love someone, you just need to not hate them. What do you think?