The giddy feeling of joy, blessed in scriptures and cursed by preachers and priests, lightens our loads and opens our eyes to what is good and worthwhile in our lives. No joy is greater that found in love, no pain more dire than when love goes. So, nurture love while it lingers, so, while well-tended, it may choose to stay and reward your attention with its presence. Speak to it often and listen with care to all it says, and it may choose to stay, for love has much to tell, and it needs a lifetime to tell it all.

But, we hate! Our ears perk up when hateful words are spread like manure on a farmer’s field, and we aim to catch each bouncing ball of dung. We grab up each dung-ball word and hold to our ears as if to love it, ignorant that most of it is putrid bullshit, fit only to make fertilizer and humus, cast upon the ground, not even to be walked upon while wearing heavy shoes.

The farmer’s purpose is not the same as those spreading words of hate, but the opposite of theirs. His purpose goes toward nourishment and replenishment, the care he gives and shows for the Earth that has given him a livelihood. He nurtures the Earth; the Earth nurtures him and all who depend on his endless recycling of care for their own wellbeing. This bespeaks the way of goodness and life: that he loves the land and that brings him joy. He loves his family, and they share his joy. He loves his animals, and they share his joy through his care. He loves the corn, the wheat, the vegetables in his garden; they bring him joy and satisfaction when he contemplates survival for the next winter.

There is no room for hatred in any of our lives. It steals its place from love. Where love would instill sweetness and joy, hatred implants infectious bitterness and anger. Like a contagion, it spreads across lands and makes enemies where could be friends. It transforms loving care into divisiveness and success into failure. It ruins us as individuals, as a people, and as a nation. Yet, our ears perk up when hateful words are spread. Perhaps, rather than running after dung-balls like playful dogs, we should heed the warning, avoid those spreading hatred, and not dirty our hands by joining then in mischief.



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