There are moments when I realize just how much work I have to do, in order to be a truly compassionate person. Most recently, at a friend’s dinner party, Gwen Stefani came up (they were talking about the kids show she made) and I blurted out, “I hate Gwen Stefani.” I realized the look of shock on my friend’s face, probably because I don’t strike them as hating many people. So I added, “I think she’s the only person I actually hate.” And then later once I was home, I unpacked the emotions behind my outburst. I realized that I’d channeled all my rage about cultural appropriation and directed it at her. If you’re not aware of Stefani’s history of appropriation, read this.
After some reflection, I realized I don’t actually hate Gwen Stefani. Hate’s my reactive response to what she represents to me. Hates safe. Hate doesn’t make me vulnerable. Hate’s the loop that keeps me from being able to reach the level of compassion that I aspire to. I’d like to, in my lifetime, be a mostly compassionate being. Someone who walks the talk of THE GOLDEN RULE.
Here’s to not only hoping, but making it happen.