Why hate wins
It’s 15 minutes before midnight. My boss and teammate are out for training, so my eyes have been practically glued to my PC screen for eight hours a day in the past two days. I am also subjected to a two-and-a-half-hour commute from my office in Taguig to our home in Quezon City. My body is tired. I should be sleeping right now. But my mind is restless.
My social media accounts have been exploding these past weeks. The Supreme Court has voted to allow former president Ferdinand Marcos’ burial in the Libingan ng mga Bayani. Most of my friends are furious, and others are rejoicing. Infographics are spreading like wildfire. There are heated debates in the comments section of news articles. On the other side of the world, Donald Trump has won the US presidency. Family members and friends who have migrated to America are angry and scared. Friends in the Philippines have mixed opinions. Others are attacking us because we are “too involved” and have “too much opinion” on American politics.
Last year, I was so happy because love won. Now, I am devastated because “Hate Wins.”
And no, this is not about my political opinion. People who know me would probably know my stance on these burning issues.
This is about the culture that we are slowly cultivating—the culture of hate and anger.
Filipinos love social media. We love to post stories of how well we are living our lives, what food we are eating, where we will be going for that family road trip, and, of course, our views on certain social and political issues. This is our way to be heard. Maybe some feel that they are not given that much importance in the real world, so they just vent their feelings in the virtual world. Some people post because they are reminding our leaders that we are here, we are aware, and we are watching. Then there are others who want to let people know that they are educated and well-informed. That they read and research and know facts: the neo-erudites. In every issue, almost every one takes a stance.
I am either a pro or an anti. If you are against me, I will fight you with words.
We are living in a world that forces us to choose between two polar opposites, then we are judged by our choices. A simple opinion blows up and starts heated arguments. People with an opposing opinion get bashed for their background; things get too personal. There is a wall and you must only be on one side of the wall. On the other side are enemies.
I am in the working class so I should hate the elites—they are making us slaves so that they could continue living their lavish lifestyle.
The Church has no business meddling with government policies.
Asians should hate westerners, who are only here to take advantage of us.
Young people are so lazy and impatient; millennials throw tantrums if they do not get what they want. Old people are so demanding; they want us to stop enjoying our lives.
She is a feminist, she must be a man-hater.
Use your mind, not your heart. You will get nowhere if you let your emotions rule you.
Elite versus Working Class. State versus Religion. East versus West. Young versus Old. Women versus Men. Heart versus Mind.
This “Us versus Them” culture of ours is killing the society slowly, like poison. We become competitive and try to discredit each other. Then comes the hate: from being wrong, from being frustrated, from not being able to sway the people on the other side of the wall to join us. This hate is now influencing the decisions that we make, the things that we say. Then the hate spreads like a virus, killing the love and acceptance that we ought to be fighting for. This is why hate wins.
Why must we choose? Can’t we work together? We breathe the same air. We want the same bright future.
We all have a duty to put a stop to this divisive culture. We owe it to the heroes who died for us, to the Filipinos who fought so that we can live freely. And most importantly, we owe it to each other. Give opinions to educate, not demean. People with views different from yours are not stupid. Respect others’ opinions, but correct them if they are wrong. Be open-minded; not everything that you believe in is true. Not everything is black and white; it can be in shades of gray, it can also be the color of the rainbow. Be empathetic, because that is what being human is all about.
I am in the working class, I should work with the elites to boost the country’s economy.
The Church has a set of principles that will help the government define morality.
Asians are given jobs from opportunities generated from western businesses. Westerners import products from a lot of countries in Asia.
Young people are creative and innovative, old people can get fresh ideas from them. Old people are experienced, the young can learn a lot from them.
She is a feminist, she is fighting for equal rights.
Use both your mind and heart. The mind is rational while the heart is compassionate.
Break the wall that divides the society.
Elite and Working Class. State and Religion. East and
West. Young and Old. Black and White. Women and Men.
Heart and Mind.
Now don’t you think this is better?
Hillary Kathryn Tabanda, 22, is a graduate of the University of the Philippines School of Economics and University of Santo Tomas High School.
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