Recently, I was reading the words of Rabbi Jonathan Sacks, and this is what he shared regarding hate and racism:
‘I asked Judea Pearl, father of the murdered journalist David Pearl, why he was working for reconciliation between Jews and Muslims. He replied with heartbreaking lucidity, “Hate killed my son. Therefore, I am determined to fight hate”.
As Martin Luther King Jr. wrote, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that”.
I have been thinking a great deal about forgiveness, and at the same time I’ve been thinking a lot about my own biases, and dare I say, my personal feelings of racism.
I can’t speak for you or anyone else– yet, when I see someone who is different than me, I make up a story about them depending on how they look. I then determine in my head: are they safe or unsafe? Kind or unkind? Scary or not scary? Hateful or compassionate? This isn’t something I intentionally do– I make up these stories based on implicit biases that are so ingrained in my psyche, that they are almost a part of my DNA.
After making these assessments, I literally have a conversation with myself, wherein I explain to myself that that’s my bias, that’s my prejudice, and that’s my racism. I remind myself that just because someone looks a certain way, it really doesn’t mean much about them at all.
Personally, I know that there is no other way to effectively combat my biases.
The same thing goes for forgiveness. Sometimes, my resentments run so deep that I don’t want to forgive those who hurt or harmed me.
Again, I then have a conversation with myself, and I remind myself how forgiveness is more for me than for anyone else. This is for two reasons: Firstly, I can’t afford to hold onto resentments, and secondly, the burden of not forgiving is just too heavy.
I know that everyone deals with their resentments and prejudices differently, so I want to ask you: How do you deal with your resentments? What do you do to process them and move on? And how do you deal with your ingrained biases and racist prejudices?
This week, let’s be honest with ourselves, and let’s not pretend that we don’t all have biases or resentments. Only then can we learn how to combat hate with love, and channel our resentments into forgiveness.
Accountability, Community, Unconditional Love
I want to remind all of you that you can hear more on my podcast, Showing Up. We have lots of amazing shows with interesting guests on a variety of personal development topics. It would be great if you could also rate 5 stars, review and subscribe to the show. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/showing-up-with-asher-gottesman/id1489856285y