Stevie Wonder is a genius. This is an undeniable fact. Like Ludwig von Beethoven and Ella Fitzgerald, Wonder reached places with his music and lyrics that transcended time, space, and all pettiness imaginable.
He wrote in his song “AS," "Change your words into truth and then change that truth into love and maybe your children’s grandchildren and their great grand children will tell.”
Living with truth and love is radical now. Perhaps it’s always been so.
But the damaging effects of hatred are so powerful that they erode the human spirit as powerfully as any chemical toxin.
The effects of hatred among religious fundamentalists and warriors are well known and documented throughout history. Tyrants and dictators, fascists and dominating factions of oppression have always haunted our lives, our grandparents’ lives, and have been the reason we have immigrated, migrated, developed, and reinvented ourselves.
But what about the subtle hatred, the insidious negativity that poisons children in a family or workers in an office? The rejecting glances, the off-color comments, the divisive, manipulative behavior of bosses and co-workers, the back stabbing, the gossiping, the rumors of high school, the bullying of middle school? What about the yearning for acceptance and petty, life destroying, soul destroying games that people play to end up a winner?
It’s so difficult for people to be positive and supportive toward one another that more people are suffering from hurt feelings and a strong sense of not fitting in, not belonging, or not being good enough for their own family members, their “friends,” their neighbors or co-workers, their bosses and mates, than can possibly be expressed.
We are mammals, after all; a strange and confusing hybrid of territorial creature and higher ordered thinking being, capable of love, acceptance and mercy.
But if someone has a choice, why do they so often choose insulting, negative language over kind, accepting language?