The concept of “love, not hate” is a much-used phrase these days. While I accept the premise that it is a position we should take, I would like to suggest that in the world of social and political relationships, that asking someone to “love,” is a step too long. It is a step too long because the idea of asking someone to love someone else whose actions, thoughts and speech are far from your own beliefs, is not meeting with much success.
It would be better to use some words and an approach that is more easily accepted and understood. A word that comes to mind is “respect." I believe it is much easier to give and to ask for respect in thinking, actions and discussions, than it is to expect love.
It is a two-way street. If you show respect for your adversary, you in turn can generate respect from her or him.
Yes, it is natural to hate the speech and actions of, say, a white racist, but in the interest of progress, an attitude of respecting the person and their ideas will open the door to change.
It’s the American way!
Albany (Sept. 5)