I am thinking about the shooting at the Holocaust Museum, and the hatred expressed by the shooter, not only in his action, but also in some of the documents investigators found among his things. How sad. I am also pondering the reactions to that act, some of which were reasoned, and some of which were also hateful. And that, too, is sad, because if we respond with hate to a hateful act, then aren't we descending to the level of the original hater?
It's hard not to feel anger towards people who put their hate into action by harming others, and yet, someone has to be able to rise above the tit for tat mentality, and to resist returning hate for hate. If I deplore acts of hate, then isn't it my responsibility to find another better, wiser way to react to wrong-doing? This must be what Ghandi was about, or Martin Luther King. It takes great courage to resist what is wrong without hatred or violence.
I couldn't fault the other guard, the one who shot Van Brunn--he was doing his job, doing what he had been taught to do. But for the rest of us, could we find another way? We can look at the world of the past and the world of today and see that violent action, whether by a person or state, seldom settles anything permanently, or improves the world in any lasting way. Violence creates more violence, and more Von Brunns full of hate. Every battle won sows seeds of hatred to engender battles for the next generation.
We now have such ridiculously deadly weapons at our disposal that if we continue these endless cycles of wars and hatred, we'll destroy both ourselves and our planet. It seems so stupid. Surely we can think of a better way to settle differences, both small and large. If we are ingenious enough to dream up and develop these awful weapons, can't we use our intelligence to find ways for the world to agree with itself?