. . . all great ideas, Mrs. Marx and Engels, Drs. M. L. King, Gabor Mate, Alice Miller, Mr. Cavoukian, just names from my personal logos, but so many great humanists, all with a terrific idea about how things ought to be, about love over hate, too many to name them all, so many good folks trying, so many apparently obvious rhetorical questions posed, why wouldn’t we choose love?
If I have readers, you know what I think: spanking and it’s mythological excuse, “Human Nature,” is why. But today’s question isn’t that, it’s “why would this be rhetorical?”
All good things hit this wall.
We would choose love – but goddammit, I have forever been choosing love and receiving hate and I’m sorry, but it’s not love I got too much of and not love I need to void myself of, is it? If you didn’t want this from me, why did you do that?!?? We would, but, kind of thing, right? But not for them, or something, right? Surely there is someone out there who deserves some of the limited resource of my mercy.
I’m trying to tell you, you ask, “why choose hate?” like it’s rhetorical, like there’s no answer, like we’re not really looking for an answer.
I woke up today with a thought that is childishly simple, yet still unfortunately true of a world of adults. You know the old saw, a child says in anger, “You made me feel X,” you know, X equals sad, mad, something awful and at some age we start saying, “other people don’t make you feel things, your feelings are yours.”
It’s a bit of gaslighting, doesn’t matter what I do to you, you are responsible for your own feelings, but it has a sort of truth, we do need to own our feelings enough to control them some and such, but it has just occurred to me for the umpteenth time, that isn’t this just what every sort of hate, every “ism,” is, the hated groups are blamed for the feelings of the haters, the haters hate everyone but themselves and it’s everyone’s fault but theirs, all their hate.
But you know what? It’s not so simple, this gaslighting. Rather, there are multiple levels, a ruse within a ruse, and while we gaslight one another in the here and now, that we aren’t responsible for one another’s new and current feelings, we are also closing off any conversation about anyone creating feelings in anyone – about antisocialization, in a word. Nobody affects nobody, apparently.
AST, so, you feel bad, you blame someone, but Psych 101 says your feelings are your own, from some other trauma, not from the person in front of you, so now you feel bad and it’s not their fault, it’s you, and “some other trauma,” of yours, and trauma is always some sort of accident, Psych 101 knows your abuser had their own trauma, so no-one tried to make you feel that way, it’s a . . . choice, ultimately, how we respond to a tragic accident. Why not choose love?
Uh, because it was a trauma and not an orgy?
These haters really don’t create all this hate themselves, is all I’m saying, the haters’ parents do, their caregivers do, their preachers, teachers and coaches do. Contrary to your memes, we can’t just make our own hatred from thin air and we’re not born with an unlimited supply, and of course somebody else makes you feel that way!
I want to say, of course we make each other feel things when we interact, but that’s not the point, the point is they were made to feel that way as a part of their upbringings, and it’s a feeling that doesn’t go away, somebody else makes you feel that way for life.
Your mom, your dad. Your people do that.
Why not choose love? It’s not bloody rhetorical, there’s a real world, living reason, and it’s because of the way they have made us feel, as I tried to express above. If we do not choose love, it is because we have been made to feel something else. Feelings are . . . real, materialistic, they are born and die here, in this world. Your bad feelings happened here, and the source is knowable.
I’m trying to tell folks: we can’t get there from here, but if we stop hurting our kids, maybe they can see more from there, maybe they can “choose” love a little more often than we did.
March 23rd., 2023