There are some things in life that I absolutely hate. Flies – nasty little buggers that buzz around spreading germs and diseases. I’m sure they have a purpose but I hate them. Beets – Melody loves them and I hate them. Can’t stand the taste at all.

There are some things in life that I absolutely hate.  Flies – nasty little buggers that buzz around spreading germs and diseases.  I’m sure they have a purpose but I hate them.  Beets – Melody loves them and I hate them.  Can’t stand the taste at all.  
People who waste my time with meetings that don’t need to happen or hash out the same issues over and over and not moving on.  Rude people – especially drivers.  Whoops, I’m probably one of those so I better watch what I hate.
Things that I love.  My God, my family and my country.  I have been blessed with a family that I love with all my heart and soul and a country that gives me the opportunity to live my life free.  My God loves me more than I can ever love Him back with his grace and forgiveness.
Other things I love.  The St. Louis Cardinals and my Mizzou Tigers.  Actually I am now in a more of a love/hate relationship with my alma mater but think they might be making institutional changes in the right direction so let’s leave it at love for right now.
I love my adopted country of Jamaica and my friends and brothers and sisters in Africa.  I love having the opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives – even if it is in a small way.
We love and hate a lot of things in life and my list above is absolutely not a complete list of both.  And, each of us could make a list and we probably should.  I think it would put our lives more into perspective if we would sit down and examine what we like and what we don’t like. And then we would need to take the next step of asking why we love or hate something.  That would give us real perspective into who we are.
I mentioned that I hate people who waste my time and rude people.  Let me clarify that statement and this is where I sometimes make a mistake.  I don’t hate the people themselves – I hate their actions.  But, sometimes I forget that very important distinction and I start finding myself wanting to hate (or at least dislike) the person themselves. And that isn’t always easy to do and takes a lot of vigilance on my part.
We have so much hatred in this country and this world right now that you can literally feel it.  It permeates our very beings and colors everything we see happening.  It literally attacks our very souls and changes who we are as people.  We get so focused on hate that we don’t think about love.

Every time there is a disaster think about the visions that you see of the people involved.  There is no black and white, red or brown, yellow or otherwise.  When there is a crisis such as a hurricane or a earthquake, petty differences are forgotten in the moment and everyone stands together.  

Unfortunately, after the crisis passes, old prejudices and habits reemerge and we go right back to our old selves – seeing the bad instead of the good in those around us.

Why do we do this to ourselves and why do we not learn from our experiences?  The reasons are plentiful and the excuses are weak.  We can do better but we choose not to.

Our political parties could work together but they won’t because obviously there has to be a winner and a loser and we are now in a “winner take all mode” in this country.  Our different factions within the country could live together but far too many have ingrained prejudices (on all sides) that prevent them from seeing people as people and not as ethnic groups.

When we finally wake up (and I’m not confident that we will) and realize that not all people in certain groups are all the same, then maybe we can then see beyond our preconceived beliefs and work together to the betterment of all.
Some people and communities do this better than others but far too many don’t and that is why we are where we are in this society.

We humans, by our very nature are sinful and have the real potential for evil.  But, we also have the potential to do great good and to serve others.  I have a good friend that talks about the little devil that sits on his shoulder telling him to do the wrong thing.  We all have that same little voice urging us to let our evil side take over but if we could quit letting it win then think about how this world would look.  

Kevin Wilson writes a column for the Neosho Daily News.