How to stop hating the opposition in 7 short steps

You despise that person (you know the one), and all that they stand for. Their face is on everything and everywhere, and why they’re famous or even admired baffles you to nausea. If they would just die (and everyone else in their little groups) the world would be a better place.

But that’s not going to happen, nor is wishing someone to die a mature attitude that anyone over the age of nine should still possess. Our rhetoric about people and public figures has degenerated to level of grade school recess fights, and it’s time to reverse that. Not just to teach the rising generation how to handle those who they don’t like, but for us adults to have some peace of mind, and some peace in heart.

As I’ve tried to find ways to get along in my mind with those people whose very existence rankle my ire, I’ve devised this list:

  1. Acknowledge that every person—EVERY person—has some good qualities. No one is ever wholly “evil” or “bad,” no matter what the memes say about them.
  2. Find that good quality. Identify it, and not in a sarcastic manner. Recognize that even the “worst” politician, athlete, Hollywood type, or even next-door neighbor has some worthy ability. Maybe they’re very tenacious, or are devoted to their kids, or aren’t fazed by criticism, or have a unique way of looking at the world.
  3. Next, grab hold of that quality, and admire Yes, you heard me right: admire that ability to do whatever, and isolate it in your mind as their redeeming factor.
  4. Do NOT add a “Yes, but,” after that, the words which negate that admirable quality you just identified. There is no room for “Yes, buts.” At least, not at this step.
  5. Now, whenever you see or read something about that person, and you feel your blood pressure rising with rancor, recall that quality, and say to yourself (and here’s where the “Yes, but” comes into play), “Yes, but she seems very skilled in applying eyeliner.” (See, it doesn’t have to be an exceptionally noble trait, but something you can admire.) “Yes, but he genuinely seems to like his current wife,” might be another. Or, if you’ve got nothing else, you could think, “Yes, but I’ve never heard of that person sending rabid gorillas to the international space station.” Repeat this line in your head about the person, over and over if necessary.
  6. And move on. Do NOT continue to read or listen to or watch that person who you so despise. Change the channel, turn off the device, click past them, and find something more settling for your ulcer.
  7. Finally, repeat to yourself: “I do NOT have to get angry about someone. I do not have to spout off in social media, or repost that snarky meme, or comment below the article about why that person should die. I can MOVE ON” (remember step 6?).

7-steps-to-not-hating-the-opposition

Repeat as necessary, and revel in your new-found peace.

You have very little time in life; don’t waste any of it being angry at a public figure who will never care what you think, and will never know.

Go pour some love on someone instead. Valentine’s Day is coming, after all.

 

Mahrree rarely thought about the twenty-three Administrators who now ruled, and likewise those Administrators thought nothing of her at the northern edge of the world.

~Book 1, The Forest at the Edge of the World

gorillas-and-iss

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