No Hate

I always get emotional whenever people talk about others being “raised to hate.” It just strikes a chord within me. Maybe it’s because I’ve innately and steadfastly believed in kindness and empathy. Maybe it’s because I’m super sensitive and want everybody to at least like one another. Maybe it’s because I know what it’s like to be on both sides of hatred and of love, and would instantly choose love – even if hatred is easier.

Whenever I think of the word, “hatred,” I always recall the cycle of hatred in Naruto. Pein, one of the antagonists (although I say that word lightly because of the nature of the series and how it portrays people as morally complex), says the following:

Love breeds sacrifice… which in turn breeds hatred. Then you can know pain.
Just by living, people hurt others without even realizing it. So long as humanity exists, hate will also exist. There is no peace in this cursed world. War is just a crime paid for by the pain of the defeated…

There’s even a Curse Of Hatred that has plagued the Uchiha clan for generations.

In these instances, it looks like duality is at the forefront: you can’t know hatred without love, you can’t experience peace without conflict or violence. Basically, if you’re human, you feel all of these emotions and live all of these experiences. It’s unavoidable. What can be avoidable, though, is how we turn to destruction and despair whenever we feel and experience the negative.

Nelson Fernandez Jr.’s article about ISIS and the cycle of hatred uses Naruto as a narrative framework on conflict and peace-building. He talks about how the cycle can be broken or how we can look at acts of violence through a different perspective.

I really like this article. It calls for critical thinking and understanding, a willingness to cooperate and collaborate, and most importantly, empathy. We need more of it in order to end this cycle, or at least stop ourselves from thinking in that framework.

No hate, all love. ❤


The Power of Vulnerability

I finally watched Brené Brown’s TED talk called The Power of Vulnerability, and I can’t remember the last time I had eagerly taken notes, lecture-style, and wanted to absorb the information I was gaining from her speech. I absolutely needed it and loved it and agreed with it.

Here are the notes I had taken, and each one is an important bit of insight about vulnerability:

Shame = fear of disconnection = “I’m not ______ enough.”

The less we talk about shame, the more we have of it.

Shame is universal… and if you can’t feel it, you are not humanly capable of empathy.

In order for connection to happen, we have to allow ourselves to be seen.

Underlying shame is excruciating vulnerability.

Brené Brown wanted to beat vulnerability into the ground. She wanted to defeat it. She was the type of person to want to overcome seemingly negative and unnecessary things in order to prove that she was better and above those things. I found this part so interesting, since I have to admit that I’m kind of the same. This is something that I know we’re all working on. Pema Chodron said to meet these negative emotions with softness, because they’re absolutely necessary parts of our lives and inner working. (This also reminded me of the movie Inside Out, when the audience comes to the beautiful realization that sadness can lead to empathy.)

People who possess a sense of worthiness – as in they have a sense of love, belonging – believe they are worthy of love, belonging. They have courage (what Brown specifies as having heart), compassion, and connection (what she specifies as authenticity). They fully embrace vulnerability (and realize that what made them vulnerable made them beautiful) which they found necessary.

Brown says that there are three things humans do that are dangerous:

We numb vulnerability (through obesity, addiction, etc.). …But you cannot selectively numb emotion – when you numb the bad things (shame, grief, etc.), you numb the good ones (joy, gratitude, etc.).

We make the uncertain certain. With religion, we have made this into a belief of being right/wrong; with politics, we have made blame a way to discharge pain and discomfort.

We pretend that what we do doesn’t have an effect on people.

She ends the talk by suggesting that we practice 4 things:

  1. Let ourselves be seen, deeply and vulnerably.
  2. Love with our whole hearts, even though there’s no guarantee.
  3. Practice gratitude and joy.
  4. “I am enough.”

Let me know if you have seen this talk and learned from it! 🙂