Thursday, October 13, 2016

Surviving Hate

When I started the work I still do today, I saw it as an investment for future generations, not just for my children but all children. Building that organization often entailed taking on part time jobs, projects that often were underpaid and underappreciated.

Sometimes I would finish one job and go right to the next; it took all my energy, but I had to have enough to be able to perform the work I was most passionate about: ending the cancers that are preventable, and which we can eliminate. I knew that if we could address the visible and the low hanging fruit of cancers, we could potentially save countless millions of lives. I do the job because I understand how pressing it is for future generations.

Cancer is a physical disease. But personally speaking, I am equally concerned about something that is a type of karmic cancer - the spread of hate.

Never before has "hate" been such a pressing concern, in light of the Republican Presidential candidate's well-documented behavior.

Today, Michelle Obama denounced the candidate for 'bragging about sexually assaulting women'

I wonder what the toxic exposure to this particular candidate can do to the young people of today Have his violent and hateful speech and reported aggressive acts against women, his flavor of hate and terror, been "normalized" by the constant media stream? Will it have lasting effects concerning treatment of women, the disabled and minorities. A bully hits a raw nerve with me: I have a personal interest, as I have written before about the struggles that come with Epilepsy and the social hardships that come with navigating that kind of disability as a teenager -- not just physically but emotionally. So for me, this is very personal.

When I started losing so many people in my world to cancer, I, in turn, went to work to develop what would be of interest for my children's future, the next generation and protecting their future through education, advocacy and policies.

As a parent, I worry too about the effects of all the hate and disregard we have heard recently and especially about women. I am concerned about the human condition and the lasting adverse effects resulting from the rhetoric of the Republican candidate. I am an advocate, not a scientist or a physician, but I do believe that like any toxic chemical or harmful exposure, we also need to look at this type of hate in the same way.

The Republican candidate does not act alone. "Hate" is a cash cow for the single narrative, opinionist news outlets that continue to feed the dragon. While networks like NBC fire hosts that engaged with the candidate, I am not seeing them stopping ads for the candidate.

The media is quick to criticize the candidate and do so with hands out accepting his campaign advertising.

Like with cancer, money is a driving force, and with the cancer of hate, we too are seeing a similar model in the media fanning the flames for profit.

I think of the many young adults today. I am confident their personal leadership and their understanding of community, public service, and the practice of honoring all people. I believe they have this consciousness despite what media companies do.

However, not unlike the work to prevent cancer, I believe we have a responsibility to protect those who can not protect themselves such as children from this type of steady and constant toxic exposure.

Today our job is to protect next generations, from the proverbial cancer and lasting effects of hate. How we are going to do that is the big question, but if we do not start the conversation, it will never happen.

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