The church massacre on Wednesday where 9 people were shot to death in a Charleston, South Carolina church, is a dramatic example of the dichotomy between love and hate – good and evil!!
Hateful attitudes and violent behavior towards others, racially motivated or not, are always the result of immaturity, impulsivity and emotional illness! Lacking any healthy personal resources, those who act out aggressively and violently externalize their emotional pain and fears onto the outside world.
There is nothing that defines us more than the choices we make when we are afraid and in pain. Defensiveness is an automatic psychological defense mechanism we are born with.
Feeling arrogant and justified, people like Charleston shooter Dylann Roof engage in what they believe is a righteous war with the enemy! He was welcomed into this church carrying hate in his heart and weapons of violence in a backpack. Motivated by extreme racial hatred, he waged war on his perceived enemy: all blacks.
On the other side of this dichotomy we see the most important emotional value in human existence show up – front and center – in spite of unthinkable pain and loss.
It is exemplified by the comments of Arthur Hurd, the husband of one of the victims, Cynthia Hurd, who said, “I would love to hate you but hate’s not in me. If I hate you I’m no better than you.”
As a sign one woman carried so aptly stated, “Love breeds love, hate breeds hate!”
Today is Father’s Day – a day to celebrate the reason we are here – “To Love!!!”