By Steve McEachern, March 31 2013
Within human expectation resides the motive to both influence change and to protect oneself from change (perceived or real). It is therein that ambivalence emerges.
Freud described ambivalence as a simultaneous presence of both love and hate towards a common object, rooted in frustration experienced during a pursuit of nurture in our youth. Freud states that a human trait emerges having aggression towards others - often powerful adults.
Writing this on Easter Sunday, I am reminded as to who in history rates at the top of the list of the 'powerful adults', taken from the world by others. I refer to Luke 22:48, wherein Jesus asks: "Judas, would you betray the Son of Man with a kiss?". Admittedly, my knowledge of religion is gained mostly from punch lines of social jokes as religion hasn't been taken too seriously in my own life. However, what is taken seriously by a lay person such as myself, is that religion based betrayal has been a long-standing fabric in human history both sewn and sown more than once.
The video accompanying this webpage leads us to ponder: what would Anne Frank, Dr. Martin Luther King, or John Lennon have further contributed to society if not taken from the world early? On May 25 1961, JFK gave a speech and issued a challenge to a nation that set in motion a path for the words "One giant leap for mankind" to be echoed eight years later. If not for being taken from this world on November 22 1963, JFK might have further challenged us to reach goals that would make reaching the moon look like a walk in the park. In 2012, Amanda Todd, a beautiful young teenage girl was motivated to reach out on YouTube prior to taking her own life as a victim of cyber-bullying. What might Ms. Todd have ultimately contributed to our world? She might have become a doctor skilled in saving the lives of children born with heart defects or she might have invented a new pollution free fuel source. No one will ever know.
In any event losing persons of influence leaves us with two perspectives to look upon. They with their lives cut short through hatred and bigotry, do continue to contribute to the world posthumously, as martyrs, whose deaths often fuel new awareness and fresh motivation in others regarding a common cause. Poverty, disease, and bigotry, these challenges surround our society, and so there is always a readily available cause for anyone to become involved in.
Let's just hope that we might eventually see the day where 'hate' has become the eighth 'dirty word'. When disappointed by a family member, my maternal grandmother would say "I love you; however right now I don't like you very much". It is a phrase deserving of more application in today's world.
You, you may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you will join us
And the world will live as one
- John Lennon, Imagine
When our expectations of the world (including ourselves) are not met, we must reach toward one more and essential expectation: tolerance. The question of how history will ultimately be written when bigotry and hate are extinguished remains a mystery, with an answer revealed only by the future - until then, and yet while only 'a small step for a man', I intend to do my part to 'live as one'.
Steve McEachern, March 31 2013