We hate what we don’t understand.


Yesterday, at my office, my office manager saw something on the floor in the office, and couldn’t figure out what it was. When I got up to investigate, I saw that it was a baby snake. I wasn’t sure how it got in the office, or why, but it was there. On the floor. And alive.

I don’t have any dislike of snakes; as a matter of fact, snakes are one of my totem creatures. But it startled me that it was in the office, just sitting there. I asked my manager to take care of it, and as he was trying to catch it to put it outside, me begging him not to kill it, he said, “I hate snakes”.

I ended up catching it and putting it in a cup, talking to it all the way while I took it outside and released it into the grass. My coworkers took pictures, and were fascinated by how that tiny creature came to be in our office, and as they googled what kind of snake that it was, they found out it was nonpoisonous, that it was one of the more social breeds of snake, and that it would show its underbelly if it felt threatened.

As I was relaying the story to Brenda last night, we talked about the fact that as humans, when we say we hate something, it is from a place of not understanding. I have always known that hate comes from fear, fear of losing what we have. However, her statement also made complete sense to me.

I don’t say that I hate something very often, yet if I really think about it, when I have felt that, it has definitely come from a place of not understanding something. I used to hate spiders, and snakes, and insects of any kind. When I became more in tune with the creatures around me, and have a deeper understanding of why they are around me, I had compassion and love for them.

Even in terms of humans, I know that it makes sense to me that when a person says that they hate someone, or a group of people, it is most likely from a place of fear for sure, but fear that is based in not knowing what that person is about. If we don’t take the time to understand that which we are not familiar with, we will most likely view that group, person, thing or circumstance as threatening.

So, without sounding too saccharin, it seems that one way to resolve the hate that exists in our worlds, is to make a point to gain more understanding about those around us. Not to just love instead of hate, but rather, to understand rather than hate.


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