Saturday, 23 October 2004

Don't Let Someone Else's Hate Influence You

It is pretty obvious that hate abounds in society and this world, and it can never be entirely eliminated. Even with all the advances in the civil rights area, there remain many people who cannot accept others as deserving equal rights. Unfortunately, prejudice and discrimination are common.

There are people in the United States of American who still believe that the unjust mistreatment of Americans and immigrants of Japanese descent during World War II was justified. Because America was at war with the nation of Japan, they blame anyone who can be even remotely associated with Japan even if they are American citizens born in this country.

When hate is exhibited toward a person, it is natural to have some initial reaction. If the hatred is expressed in words as it often is, it should not be physically debilitating. It is necessary to combat that hatred by NOT allowing it to influence your actions adversely. Sometimes it is normal to give up one's own goals and ambitions because of hatred expressed by someone else. Don't let anyone steal your dreams because they are narrow minded and mean spirited.

One of the goals of my husband and myself in recent times has been to "Share the Story" by helping people to understand what happened to Japanese Americans during World War II when 120,000 people were forcibly removed from their West Coast homes. Most were incarcerated in what have come to be known as "American concentration camps" where they were held like prisoners with armed guards looking over them. These people had done nothing wrong, but they were persecuted for their ethnic heritage because of the hatred and discrimination of that period. Two thirds of those imprisoned in that manner were American citizens.

Encountering hatred from someone who obviously is full of hate and feels that the incarceration was justified is disheartening. Although experiencing that type of negative reaction could cause someone to give up the goals for which he/she is working, it is important to NOT let someone else's hate influence you to the point of giving up on something you are trying to accomplish.

There is no way that hate will be eradicated from the world because of the failings of humans. It is not a perfect world and never will be. That means that it is imperative that the recipients of hatred do not allow hate to ruin them. Hate already creates negative forces in the person who expresses hatred to others. The objects of that hatred should not be subjected to further suffering by allowing themselves to be intimidated and thus adversely affected.

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