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De Parte del Maestro
By Josh Flores

Tolerance and acceptance are therapeutic for society
As I walk on this daily journey called life, I can’t help but notice the ugliness that exists in the world today.  Of course I am not referring to anything physical and it is not something I try to dwell on but the reality is it is apparent that people treat others poorly. 

I guess this bothers me because of the way I was raised and the principles that were instilled in me. Things like ‘the Golden Rule’—treating others the way you want to be treated and having simple respect for one another. It seems that many people find it to burdensome to be kind. 

I am bothered that hate is prevalent in all facets of our society and hate is a cancer that has been at the center of some of the most unspeakable acts in human history. 

In this article I will share what I’ve learned and how to get back to the basics of humanity.

Hate is a waste of energy
Hate is probably one of the worst words in any language.  It can destroy a person from the inside, when it is allowed to fester and grow unchecked.  I hear people say I hate this or I hate that, and worst of all I hate this person or these people. 

If you think about it hate is a ridiculous notion; the meaning of hate is to dislike somebody or something intensely, often in a way that evokes feelings of anger, hostility, or animosity. Now I understand that the world is not all sunshine and rainbows—I know firsthand that life can be very hard and often unfair, but nothing in the definition of hate is beneficial to anything or anyone. 

The saddest part about hate is that it is a learned behavior. When a baby comes into this world, they have no concept of hate.  They are taught to hate on the basis of language, skin color, socioeconomic status, religion, among numerous other things. 

By focusing hate on any of the things I just listed allows the mind to strip away the one thing that we all share, our humanity.  People wrong other people every second of every day, but reacting with hate is contributing to the problem because hate is often at the center of the wrong doing to begin with. 

Try being the bigger person and forgive someone.

The world would be a boring place
I am very proud of my Latino heritage, but I must say that I love diversity. 

I have always lived in diverse neighborhoods and have a diverse group of friends. What makes us different is what makes us the same—we all have a story of struggle, perseverance, and triumph.  I have found that by stepping out of my cultural circle I have stepped into an entire new dimension of knowledge and learning. 

To learn about other cultures allows you appreciate that culture for what it is, rather than hate it for simply being different.  I have been fortunate enough to be exposed to so many cultures.  I have had best friends who were African-American, Asian, European-American, Latino, and Arab. Through each one I learned a great deal.

Ultimately you have to do what you feel comfortable with, but you should also know that by never stepping out of your circle of comfort, you may be missing out on a whole new world of discovery and experience—like mi padre always taught me that there is good and bad in all types of people,…so look for the good. 

Beyond ethnicity
What makes us different is not just about our ethnic heritage but our personal preferences.  When I speak about personal preferences, I am referring to your style in dress, music, hobbies, pastimes, interests, and beliefs. 

The combination of all of these things is what makes you the individual you are, and I believe that all individuals should be celebrated.  What works for some people will not work for others, what some people like, others won’t.  But guess what? 

That is okay; think how boring the world would be if we all wore the same clothes, listened to the same music, had the same hair style, etc.  If everyone was just like you then you wouldn’t be unique or special.

So my challenge to you is every time you see someone that is very different from you to the point you think that they are weird or strange, instead of judging them for being different, be thankful.  Because if they were just like you…just think about it.

Break the cycle
You have an incredible power; it is called the power of change. 

I know with the presidential election looming, we have been hearing an awful lot about change and how important is. Change can be great if it is done in the right way and for the right reason.  If you have been taught to hate for whatever reason you should and can make a change. Since we are not born hating, it is an unnatural action for us as humans and is definitely not healthy. 

It will be a great challenge for you to break a cycle of hate, because those who hate always feel justified in their reasoning for hating.  Sadly enough some people just hate without any rationale, and this is called blind hate. 

I know that you can be a positively contributing member of this world if you accept the challenge, and if you are already on the side of tolerance and acceptance then just keep up the good work!  ¡Hasta la próxima vez!

I would love to hear from you about my column please send me feedback or let me know if there is something you would like me to write about.  You can e-mail me at [email protected]. ¡Gracias por tu apoyo!





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