Empathy

A hatred of an ideology is a sign of a misunderstan­ding of it, a sign that one is still on the same level of your “adversary” – or perhaps even that one is below them. Hatred betrays a lack of empathy, a lack of self control and a lack of conviction in your own thinking – it shows that one is afraid (hatred without fear is contempt). To be able to disagree without feeling the stings of displeasure, without feeling the heat of blood rushing to your head, without resulting to insults and logical fallacies, without ridicule or mockery, with a kind of understanding that turns the act of negation into an act of acceptance – to do that is a sign of a higher mind, a sign that one has passed the terrain of your opponent and has climbed the higher ground above, that one is now looking down at them, not in con­tempt, but in good humor, offering them directions and en­courage­ment to speed them up on their way rather than throwing sticks and stones at them in order to retard their progress.

Further Reading

Proust wrote that the true voyage of discovery is not to visit strange lands, but to possess other eyes, to behold a hundred universes that each of them beholds. Thus, in the words of Ruskin, what good books give us is not mere knowledge, but sight.

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