Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Concerning Hate Speech

To the easily outraged,
    What is hate speech? It appears that if we want to censor something or someone these days, we claim it's hate speech. If someone were to point out that the Confederate flag never meant "We hate blacks!" but instead that "The United States receive their power from the States," I'm certain someone would claim to be offended and then classify that point as Hate Speech. Unfortunately, such claims are actually misuses of Censorship. Now censorship is not evil in itself (more on that another day), but it does get misused often and the classification of "hate speech" is a prime example.
    Let's consider the nature of hate speech. It is composed of two words, "hate" and "speech" which means it requires those two together in order to exist. While speech is present in most cases, the "hate" isn't. I recall reading on the media the outrage over a Nobel Prize winner for his "sexist" remarks about women in the lab. When I dived into it, I didn't see anything about hate, just what he had learned from personal experience. Does his personal experience mean it applies globally? Not necessarily, but rather than dishonor him, shouldn't we have tried to let him continue his work in an environment where he can work best? Everyone is distracted by one thing or another. Some scientists can love rock and roll to keep them focused (think NCIS), while others need complete silence. What does that mean? They are incompatible working together. As for the "sexist remarks," they merely corresponded to the taboo about dating a coworker and how creating those situations can cause problems. Because romance involves two parties but often is only one-sided, it shouldn't be hard to realize that it can be a problem. I could go on about this but I am beginning to digress.
    Back to that thing about the Confederate flag, I would argue the outrage people have over it would be better classified as hate speech than those who want to keep it (unless they fall under the group that believes it actually does express hatred). How bad is it? People today have become so single-minded that they refuse to acknowledge the other side's points and concerns. Why are we so focused on a flag that has no power to incite hatred in the people who know its real meanings instead of why a shooter was filled with hate in the first place? If a shooter went into a church, mosque, or synagogue holding a rainbow flag and began to shoot everyone, would gays surrender their rainbow flag to never be used or flown again? The original meaning of the rainbow was "Peace" (and has been since almost the beginning of recorded history) but if we focused on it like the confederate flag, we would forget that. I can tell you that there have certainly been a lot more hateful violence committed under that rainbow colored flag than the media will care to admit.

     Perhaps we should discuss what the word "hate" means. It is not merely disagreeing or disliking someone. Did you know that you can love your enemies, those you disagree with, and those you do not like? You can read more about that in my letter on impatience. Hate is the antonym for love. Just as Love desires what is good for someone else, hate desires what is evil for someone else. It must be realized that this desire is solely from the source, not the target. An expression of eliminating all blacks (like Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood) would be fair to call "hate speech". A commentary that most black men are in a bad situation because of their focus on gangs instead of studying cannot be classified as "hate speech". First off, the former example is an expression of desire while the latter is a commentary which is not expressing any desire but pointing out what appears to be a fact. The sad thing is today's society tends to attack things like the latter which are attempts to figure out the truth and make progress. When we use our power of "Censorship" by deeming it "hate speech" and attacking the person who said it, we not only make it difficult to address the problem he is trying to convey but we also show that we are truly a hateful society.

With Love,
N. D. Moharo

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Nature of Impatience

To the impatient,
    If you are like me, being told to "be more patient" is not really helpful. In fact, it's pointless and counterproductive. Why? Because it doesn't tell you anything about how to do so. Allow me to rectify to situation and explain what I have realized to be the causes of impatience and the keys to dealing with it. As some wise man said a long time ago, "Knowledge is the key to victory."
    I did a Google and Bing search on the word "impatient," and they define it as "having or showing a tendency to be quickly irritated or provoked." I will actually disagree with this as it inaccurately covers it. After all, it can be a single occasion where you are impatient, meaning it's not necessarily a tendency. What the definition did get right is that it is provoked, and that is what we will deal with today.
    Something I figured out a while back is the level of impatience a man will have will correspond to how important he feels his time is at that moment. Hence, a man who feels like he can go faster will be upset being behind a car that is going the speed limit. The next thing I discovered is that it also arises when feeling wronged. And so the man driving the speed limit will grow impatient at the man behind him who is honking because he is going the speed limit. Therefore, I suggest the two root causes of impatience are the perception of wasted time and feeling wronged.
    I pondered whether or not wasted opportunity would be a cause, however, that could actually be either "waste of time," "feeling wronged," or both. If you missed a green traffic light, you would be upset possibly because you have to sit and wait for a few extra moments when you are in a hurry or your effort was wasted and so you feel wronged, even more so if you missed a light because you stopped at the previous one or allowed someone to cut in front of you.
    So what are the keys to dealing with this? How do you become more "patient"? In this case, the root of patience is a combination of three things: Humility, Love, and Acceptance. Is it a coincidence that a good mother has these things in abundance? The same internet searches for "Humility" return the definition of "a modest or low view of one's own importance; humbleness." I will agree with this definition as it complements the point I made earlier about impatience linked with importance. If one does not view himself as too important, then it's easier for him to be patient.
    Likewise, the true definition of love (which Google completely misses but which Disney's Frozen hits spot on) is "putting someone else's needs before yours" or as I have said before, "to will the good of another, even at your own expense." This is why the greatest act is said to be "to lay down your life for a friend." Note that this is very different than the romantic notion of love which instead seeks your own pleasure. Seriously, who thinks that they want to date solely to make someone else happy? There is far more love from the people who refuse to date out of respect for someone else (and therefore refrain from cheating or adultery). This also explains the link between love and humility as it is far harder to love someone else when you consider yourself more important. The more humble you are, the easier it is to love everyone, including the poor and your enemies.
     The last key is acceptance. Something happened, and you can't change that. The only thing you can do is try to avoid it in the future. As a society, we focus too much on what we can do that we try so hard to control everything, including our sex and genetics. The problem about this thirst for power is that it can never be satisfied. We need to learn that there are some things beyond our control, and it's better that we never try to overcome it. If you learn to grow in these three things, then your patience shall increase.

    For my last point, I will argue that there are certainly some cases where it is okay to be "impatient." If you are able to do it respectfully, it is in your control, and all other methods have failed to convey the true urgency of the situation (one that is not selfish such as preventing a murder), then you may have a right and obligation to be upset with someone. However, if it is a case of oversleeping and running late for a meeting, that is not an acceptable excuse for being rude and driving poorly.

With love,

N. D. Moharo