Guiding Light: Prejudice, Intolerance And Hatred

Guiding Light: Prejudice, Intolerance And Hatred

Dada J. P. VaswaniUpdated: Monday, June 10, 2024, 07:00 PM IST
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I have clubbed these three negative emotions together, because I believe they are different degrees, different shades of an attitude that, if unchecked, will lead to absolute hatred.

Prejudice is defined as, “a preconceived opinion not based on reason or experience.” It often leads to dislike, hostility or unjust behaviour formed on such a basis: thus we have prejudice against foreigners, prejudice against people of a different faith or even prejudice against people who are not ‘like us’, whatever that means! It is an adverse judgement or opinion formed about someone beforehand, without knowledge of the facts concerning the person; as a preconceived opinion, it leads to an irrational hostile attitude, fear or even hatred towards a particular group, race or religion; it is an attitude of intolerance which may actually cause damage by generating fear or hatred.

An individual who is intolerant and prejudiced may exhibit negative behaviour traits like: Aggression, Superstition, Frustration, Hot temper, Rigidity in belief and thinking, Cynicism.

How can we overcome the negative traits of intolerance, prejudice and hatred? So let me offer you a few practical suggestions:

1. Learn to forgive and forget all injuries and insults dealt to you:

Revenge and retaliation are best left to time. Let us, in the words of the Lord’s prayer, ‘forgive those who trespass against us.’ The impulse to take revenge only leads to negative karma.

2. Learn to be responsible for your thoughts, words and actions:

We must accept the responsibility for all that happens to us and always sow the seeds of good karma.

3. Refrain from causing pain to others:

When we harm others, we are paving the way for harming ourselves in the future!

4. Seek guidance from your Guru, or a spiritual elder:

Most of us lack the mental and spiritual strength to wage the battle of life alone. But the wonderful thing is: we are not alone! Divine guidance, Divine grace is always available to those who seek it.

5. Work towards your own liberation:

This is achieved through bhakti (devotion), seva (service) and sadhana (practice of austerities like meditation).

6. Refuse to degrade yourself by hatred:

Hatred is a destructive and corrosive emotion. It demeans you; it hurts those whom you hate. Do not allow your spirit to be poisoned by hatred. You deserve more respect from yourself!

Dada J P Vaswani is a humanitarian, philosopher, educator, acclaimed writer, powerful orator, messiah of ahimsa, and non-sectarian spiritual leader

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