Democracy is a community project and as such, it is only as strong as the virtues of the people who are participating in it. It is only as strong as the social habits we encourage in ourselves and one another. Here we explore the feeling of hate within an understanding of our very human need to shape reality to suit our vision of what we believe it to be or should be, and seeing then how anything that gets in the way of that vision invokes our passions.
Seek out three things:
- A broader perspective. You don’t need to agree with a contrary opinion, but if you are committed to making your belief as strong as possible, seek the strongest of alternatives so that like steel, you work to purge the hate, “impurities” or limitations from your own view.
- Recognize the universality of passion. If you find yourself utterly shocked at how a person can hold a particular belief or why they express their solidarity with it in a particular way, consider that your own passions have in life led you down many a dead-end road and likely will again. The variation in human beings is as much about how many ways we can be wrong and we can stand in awe at the diversity of exploration.
- Remember that life is filled with many peaks of possibility, not just one. An equality of outcomes will only make all paths look the same. Our passions drive us in many different directions and in a democratic society dedicated to pluralism and the celebration of the individual, those variations can work together to elevate the whole of our shared humanity.
Recommended Reading: Destructive Emotions by Daniel Goleman