Of all the things that a culture can do, the most self-destructive is to teach children to hate. I was reminded of this when I reread an essay I wrote several years ago.
Teaching children to hate is almost the ultimate evil. It spreads
the sickness of racial and cultural bigotry by replacing a child's
natural curiosity with fear.
There is a song by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young which contains these prophetic words:
Teach your children well…
And feed them on your dreams,
The one they picks, the one you'll know by.
In 2000, nine years ago, Palestinian kids were being taught to hate and kill Jews
through 'Sesame Street'-type TV shows. I understand that this practice is still going on.
When I first read about this, I felt the Palestinians were setting themselves up
for disaster. It is like raising a nation of "Jack the Rippers" and
thinking they will be loyal and obedient citizens who will create a bright future. The events of the last nine years have not showed this to be a successful activity.
Hitler did it in a nation stunned and apathetic after WWI. He also
created the SS, one of the most despised organizations in the world at
the time. Like Ozymandias, only rubble remains of Hitler's dreams.
Teaching hate is not unique to any nation. There are
too many examples in the good old USA for us to point fingers at any
other country. What we can do as a vast community of bloggers is to
cast light into the dark corners where this despicable practice is being performed.
In today's world of weblogs, such evil deeds are impossible to hide for very long. Exposing them to public view is a first step toward bringing sanity to troubled areas that are self-destructing.
If you are in doubt about the destructiveness of teaching children to hate, take a good look at the cultures where this is being done and see whether the culture is succeeding or declining.
On the home front, you might give your kids a hug and teach them how to recognize good people.
It's a start anyway.