Saturday, September 8, 2012

Of Psychology and Civil Rights

This entry is going to start off a bit vague. I apologize for that, but there are times a writer just has to go against everything he or she has learned about style and refuse to offer up examples. Some of my thoughts are better left in my head, but their very existence gives rise to questions I'd like to explore.

Sometimes I find myself drawn between two very, very different interpretations of one event or another. (Events that have an indirect effect on my life or the lives of those I love and are not merely matters of curiosity.) In such a situation, to believe one interpretation seems utterly insane, and yet to believe the other takes a force of will that I do not seem to have. I do not want to believe things that are untrue, especially if believing those things marks me as crazy. I almost panic at the very thought.

That panic, however, is generally relieved if I find myself indulging my more unconventional thoughts. I have sometimes thought that the peace that comes with such acquiescence is an indication that I have chosen the correct belief.

However - I then wonder if this same sense of peace comes to someone who hears voices when he or she decides to stop fighting them and listen. I wonder if it is simply a magnified sense of the relief I feel when I give in to my compulsion to check the locks just one more time before I go to bed. All one needs to do is read the news to know that instinct can be a dangerous guide.

Tonight I found myself wondering if this processing dilemma is common to most. I think of those who actively protest and fight against LGBT rights as bigots - hateful, hateful bigots. When they imagine a world in which we all share the same rights, do they want to let go of their hate and allow the dream to wash over them, do they feel nothing but fear, or do they do neither?

I know that the hateful views themselves are insane, but I would like to know if the bigots who spew them feel either peace or white-knuckled resistance when they do so.

1 comment:

  1. I don't think bigots feel peace. I don't think they feel anything but hatred and anger at the world, probably because they were raised in a household full of anger and hatred and bigotry. Unfortunately, hate begets hate in the same way love begets love. It's a vicious circle, and one that's going to be tough for society to break.

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