Love to Combat Prejudice

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. –John 13:35

Dear members and friends,

Hate crime is defined as “a crime motivated by racial, sexual, or other prejudice, typically one involving violence.” Prejudice is defined as “preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.” As I reflect deeply on the definition of prejudice, I came to a shocking truth: these days, how many of us can actually claim that our opinions are truly based on reason or actual experience? To have reason means to be able to use the power of the mind to think, understand, and form judgments by a process of logic. In my understanding, the process of logic requires time, effort and ability to see things objectively. These days, in the age of instant and spontaneous culture, who is willing or has time to do that? Instead of taking time to assess and analyze a matter or situation, many people seem to jump to a conclusion that makes sense in their already-preconceived mind.

Another challenge is the phenomenon of the virtual reality. Some people seem to be convinced that a virtual experience is as good as or even more real than an actual experience. I do not deny that there is a truth to that. But at the same time, there is a reason why we call it “virtual” reality. An actual experience means more than to simply do, feel or be involved with something. An actual experience means that your full self is fully present without any reservation or protection by distance. Thus, an actual experience can shape, form and reform your core self, while a virtual experience could be saved as a reference and knowledge.

If people were to take a moment to think fully about what they were about to do and its consequences, and/or to actually come and meet the people against whom they have prejudice, their minds might be changed. Of course, people are people. We all have our shortcomings and dark sides. But, generalizing a whole group of people based on their race, sex, age or something else is simply not reasonable or real. Yet, people do many unreasonable and unreal things that cause disturbance, pain and even fear among others. Why? One thing I can think of right now is that they have lost or never gained the knowledge of what it means to be a human with a real experience. It may sound wishy-washy to some, but at the core of being a human is to be delighted in the mutual act of love. Being loved as well as loving should be felt as a joy and delight in one’s heart. And, the purpose of our being human is to cause joy and delight in each other with love. If this were true to all people, there would be no one on earth who would even dream of causing pain and suffering to another human being.