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Preaching love instead of hate

Bill Fox

Bill Fox

By Bill Fox/Columnist

Is our society starting to reflect more hate than love?

Now that we are in ‘election mode,’ I often see it within Facebook posts. People don’t just dislike our federal and provincial leaders or candidates, but post some very hateful comments online.

I’m fed up already of the electioneering and political opinions all over the Internet. There is just too much negativity and not enough positivity.

Sadly, I don’t recall often voting for a provincial and/or federal party, as much as voting against a party I disliked. As a simplified example, many voters in the last provincial election did not like Wynne and wanted her out so they voted Conservative, while not necessarily liking Ford either. My take is that the same thing happened in the U.S, as people were sick of the Clintons and did not want to vote for Hilary, so they voted against her, and therefore for Trump.

Forty years ago, I ran in a provincial election (not in Durham Region). I did not dislike my two opponents. I just felt that the party I represented was more in tune with what I felt our province needed.

As an example, the first of our four sons was born just a year earlier, and I was becoming more environmentally aware. The sitting party at the time had fined polluters of our waterways an average fine of $812.50. I felt strongly that this was more the cost of a “license” to pollute than a deterrent and penalty. I believe the sitting member trusted that a penalty would alert a company to make changes so that they would not pollute again. There was also a concern that a large monetary fine could, in time, mean employees of the polluting firm could lose their jobs. We simply agreed to disagree.

My two opponents had their own slants on what was best for our riding and our province. Yet, I did not make any negative comment towards them personally and I don’t recall any towards me from the candidates themselves.

I heard Terry Johnston on CKDO recently talk about more shootings in Toronto on the morning news. He asked if these shootings make you think twice about going to Toronto. I think there is a certain amount of fear among some of us about traveling into certain areas of Toronto. However, the morning the shootings occurred near the Eaton Centre… it makes one wonder.

Do you ever get intolerant, especially while driving? I get annoyed when people making a left hand turn in front of me don’t go into the intersection rather than stay on the thick stop lines. I realized after having to wait for the next light, that I was not in a hurry, so why was I so intolerant?

Love forgives, while fear blames. Love is a positive emotion that fosters a connection between people, whether they are parents, lovers, friends, or even neighbours.

Fear, on the other hand, does exactly the opposite. Forgiveness is the ability to open your heart and to allow the possibility that there’s another side to this story. The other person has their story and you have yours. It’s the willingness to open your heart and allow for their story. You may find then that forgiveness frees you of resentment, anger, negativity, blame, and guilt.

The oldest game in the world is blame. We see it in politics all the time. But it started with Adam and Eve. God told them not to take fruit from the tree of knowledge. When God reproached Adam for taking a bite, he blamed Eve who had told him to. Of course, Eve blamed the serpent or snake. As we know, the poor snake didn’t have a leg to stand on.

I found this beautiful quote I hope might govern our day today.

“I don’t always make the best choices, but today, I choose compassion over intolerance, sympathy over hatred and love over fear.” – L.J. Vanier.

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