Thursday, March 26, 2009

Morning meditation - Love and Hate, two sides of the same coin

Love and hate Love and hate are two sides of the same coin. They are not opposites as most people quickly assume. What love and hate have in common is that you care. What is the opposite of caring? Not caring. So the opposite of love is indifference.

They say that sometimes you hate the most the ones you love the most. Sometimes you hurt the most the ones you love the most.

True love is not infatuation. It is not having a crush. It is not some romantic valentine day card sentiment. True love is deep caring which can leave you feeling sweet and in rapture, or bitter and ready to lash out in anger self righteously to offset the terrible shame of being ignored, betrayed, humiliated, rejected, or attacked.

Love makes us grow up. It makes us mature. It makes us rise above ourselves and calls us to become a better person. Mature love is a decision, not a feeling, and we make that decision several times a day, until it becomes a committment that if not honored does more damage to our self than to the other.

Love is the guiding priniciple of life and if, as Socrates suggested, we are to know ourselves, then answer honestly and fearlessly, who and what do you love and are ready to be hurt for?


  1. "What is the opposite of caring? Not caring. So the opposite of love is indifference."

    I am pretty sure that that is what George Bernard Shaw was trying to get at when he said -

    "The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity."

    In fact it was this well known saying of GBS, combined with the callous indifference of the Board and congregation of the Unitarian Church of Montreal, the UUA and its ever so aptly named Ministerial Fellowship Committee, and rather too many other Unitarian*Universalists to my own and other people's serious grievances that inspired me to come up with the saying -

    Quite regrettably, it is all too human to be inhuman.

    When I came up with this not so bon mot, some years ago now, I was thinking very much in terms of the indifference of Montreal Unitarians walking past my picket signs protesting against the anti-religious intolerance and bigotry of Rev. Ray Drennan and other self-described "Humanist" U*Us Sunday after Sunday for years without making the slightest attempt to redress my serious grievances. I was not thinking in terms of even worse forms of inhumanity but had GBS' saying very much in mind. It was only later that I discovered that Elie Weisel had been inspired to say something very similar as a result of his experiences in Nazi Germany. I believe that it is worthwhile posting some of what he has to say about the inhumanity of indifference here -

    "In a way, to be indifferent to that suffering is what makes the human being inhuman. Indifference, after all, is more dangerous than anger and hatred. Anger can at times be creative. One writes a great poem, a great symphony, one does something special for the sake of humanity because one is angry at the injustice that one witnesses. But indifference is never creative. Even hatred at times may elicit a response. You fight it. You denounce it. You disarm it. Indifference elicits no response. Indifference is not a response.

    Indifference is not a beginning, it is an end. And, therefore, indifference is always the friend of the enemy, for it benefits the aggressor -- never his victim, whose pain is magnified when he or she feels forgotten. The political prisoner in his cell, the hungry children, the homeless refugees -- not to respond to their plight, not to relieve their solitude by offering them a spark of hope is to exile them from human memory. And in denying their humanity we betray our own.

    Indifference, then, is not only a sin, it is a punishment. And this is one of the most important lessons of this outgoing century's wide-ranging experiments in good and evil."

    I wonder if the callously indifferent Unitarian*Universalists at the Unitarian Church of Montreal and 25 Beacon Street in Boston, to say nothing of elsewhere in the U*U World are proud of their inhuman(e) indifference to me and other victims of clergy misconduct and/or other U*U injustices and abuses?

  2. Wow! This serendipitous blog post of An Open Letter About Clergy Sexual Misconduct to the UUA Presidential Candidates is almost an online synchronicity of sorts. . . I was not aware of it when I wrote the above comment.

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