Friday, September 14, 2012

The Banners of Love and Hate, and the Small Signs too.

      Love and Hate can be hard to distinguish.  Both of them can shout from rooftops, filling the spaces below with sickening dread or intense joy. Love rings on the sound of bells on a sunday morning, roars in a crowd of celebration. Love soars full from the throats of songbirds.  Hate also makes its presence known.  It shouts across the playground from the school yard bully, Hate explodes from the gun used in revenge.  Hate screams at her as he uses his fists again.  But these are the obvious and easy fulfillment of the definitions at hand.
      The other forms are not so easy to spot.  the soft, unrecognizable way these two opposites can make their respective ways into our hearts.
      Love can come softly, on small quiet feet, to take root and hold in a way that at first it's not even known that its there, to grow into something small strong and beautiful.  Love can show itself in the little ways; holding the door for the woman in the wheel chair, a card sent in the mail to an old friend.  Love is in the comfort of the hands caring for the sick, love is in the tending of a wife's rose bush by a widower.  Love comes to the man and woman banding together for a common cause, only to discover that there was more than one cause to cultivate.
      Hate speaks almost innocently on some levels, targeting the ones that are least likely to know about its presence. The young and impressionable, trusting and taking to heart what is told to them and what is around them to be absorbed.  Hate is a learned behavior.  When Hate is sown, there Hate grows.  The 14 year old, saying to her father after his altercation with a fellow motorist, "I'm glad he wasn't black, Dad, or he would have shot you."  In hearing this statement, it's not so much the words, although shocking on their own, but assurance with which she delivered them that worms a finger of sadness and dread into the heart.  The absolute unwavering certainty with which the statement is believed, and how it only could have been learned from another. Yes, this passing of hate, the manipulation of trust between parent and child or brother and sister to continue its cause is what makes Hate so cunning.