By Jeff Altman
“Power is of two kinds. One is obtained by the fear of punishment and the other by acts of love. Power based on love is a thousand times more effective and permanent than the one derived from fear of punishment.”
– -Mahatma Gandhi
Let me add to that another quote.
“Hatred is the most accessible and comprehensive of all the unifying agents. Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a god, but never without a belief in a devil.”
― Eric Hoffer
The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements is a book about mass movements focused on the rise of Hitler. Some of you will read it as an indictment of Trump. Others will read it as an indictment of the resistance. However, you read it, read it because it speaks to our times.
Our “leaders,” are following the blueprint of the Nazis fostering hatred of those we disagree with.
There is no discourse anymore or conversations that don’t end badly when people who disagree convene online.
Then we bring it back into our offices and our homes and poison our well with contempt.
We should not be surprised that when groups feel shut out and a match will be lit, the tinder will combust in the fires will rage. We saw that in the summer of 2020 and in January 2021.
People who feel unheard will eventually let everyone know that they’re mad as hell.
Yes, there are provocateurs and others who foment “trouble.”
Underneath it, there is a wake-up opportunity. In these two instances, there is an opportunity to address racism and classism.
If you are in one group, you want your’s addressed first. If you and the other, yours is more important.
We can deal with both or sweep them under the rug and pretend they will go away.
The fix is to these may or may not involve radical change.
They do involve us waking up and paying attention and doing things differently.
Our politicians, our mutant leaders, young and old, will play the old drumbeat of hatred for the other. Some people will bring out the flags of the past hatred. Some of those flags will be made of cloth; others the cloth of words.
They will profess how right they are to justify their hatred of the other.
All that will happen is people will be backed into corners and the hatred will go underground.
Once in a while, it will leak out and we will be repelled by the form it takes.
Hatred begats hatred. It feeds on itself becoming even more intense.
No one will win and everyone will lose.
How can you speak to the other and obtain their trust? How can you listen and earn their trust?
Who will start doing it differently?
Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2021
ABOUT JEFF ALTMAN, THE BIG GAME HUNTER
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 2000 episodes.
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