“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” – Nelson Mandela
How true isn’t it? Nelson Mandela certainly was right when he said ‘… love comes naturally to the human heart …’ A child knows no hatred or how to hate and yet he/she instinctively feels the love and care shower by parents. A child generally do not differentiate statue too; a child may be shy and uncomfortable with a stranger initially, but if the stranger treat the child lovingly and kindly, the child will eventually warm up to the stranger.
Most adults on the other hand have the ability, through learned experience, to differentiate people who are genuinely sincere and good from those who are not. This is one of the reasons, and a valid one, why parents find it necessary to protect baby from people who are not genuinely sincere and good.
In the process of growing up, the child will see, hear and pick up hatred we show to others along the way. We too had unconsciously learnt to hate from our parents and people around us; not that they wanted to teach us to hate on purpose, but through their words and actions, we imitated them until at such time that their words and actions become part of ours too. We eventually ‘pass’ these words and actions to our children. This is a vicious cycle that will stop only by consciously teaching our children to love people from the heart.
However, in order for us to be fitting to teach our children to love, we must first learn to love like them. Did I just contradict myself? It makes sense actually. We need to first learn to love people indiscriminately and with an open heart from them. Then we lead by example to love people indiscriminately and with an open heart. A challenging thing to do but so is anything worth fighting for.
Through conscious teaching of ourselves and especially our young ones to love, I believe that one day most of us will be loving people.
How do you think we can work towards teaching people to love?
Photo by pcioca