Hate Is A Transitive Verb: It Needs An Object

I wrote a few days ago about the book I was reading, If These Walls Could Talk, by Dan Walsh. This story starts out in the present, a couple doing some renovations discover a strange message scratched into some of the studs. As they uncover more of the studs, they find a plea for help.

Then the writer takes us back to June 1964 and a family divided by hatred and contempt. The father and redneck older brother are determined that blacks should be subservient; the younger son believes in equal treatment for all human beings. Walsh works into his story in a very realistic way the deep-seated prejudices, the civil rights marches, hostility and subsequent violence that took place in the South at that time.

In the Afterword, Walsh writes about watching these events on the news as they were happening, including Dr Martin Luther King delivering his famous “I have a dream” speech. I believe most of us in North America would love to see his dream come true: a society where all humans are respected as equals regardless of race, ethnic origins, or religion.

It would be tragic if, after all this time and all these years of struggle and strife, people should sink back into the attitudes so prevalent back then! God forbid that society should lose what it has gained in fair treatment for all!

Anyone who has carefully read the Bible has surely seen these words:
“God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands…
And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth…
– Acts 17: 24, 26

Sad to say, Paul Simon’s line is too often true:
“Still a man he hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.”
–from his song, The Boxer

I once met a man who’d probably fit the category, “southern white trash.” Definitely a redneck. While his racial slurs were dramatic, it became apparent that the first person this man hated was himself. Though he put on a cheerful persona, those who knew him sensed he was deeply discontented with who and what he was. His own children suffered the fall-out from his frustration, too.

One time I read the memoir of a young boy who’d been verbally abused and severely beaten many times by his construction worker father. He did survive, got an education and became a vet. As a mature adult he asked his father one day, “Why were you so brutal with me?”

His father replied, “I saw your nature as being a lot like mine and I wanted to straighten you out. I didn’t want you to be like me. I wanted you to make something of yourself and have a better life than I had.”

He told his dad that beating a kid is poor way to encourage him. But the father seemed to know no other way; he probably got the same. It’s amazing that the son escaped that vicious circle.

My heart aches for people who haven’t found contentment in life — and for their victims. People who aren’t happy with themselves and what they are, will be inclined to severe depression, because hate has to have an object. If these frustrated ones don’t find some outlet for their hate it will blow their minds somehow, so they turn it on someone else. “Ah! It’s not MY fault. I’m the helpless victim here. It’s HIS/HER/THEIR fault that I don’t have a better place in life.”

Common sense won’t faze people determined to hate those they imagine are oppressing them. People determined to be victims must cast someone, some group or class, into the role of Oppressor. Sadly, the “victims” become the bullies, self-righteously striking back at their oppressors – who are often bewildered by the venom they feel from someone they don’t even know.

Hating the Haters

“I hate rich snobs!”
“I hate people who are prejudiced.”
“I despise religious hypocrites who look down on others.”
“I detest people who are intolerant.”
“I hate abusers and predators.”
“I just hate people who oppress the poor!”
“Of course I’m right for hating them because they’re so worthy of hate.”

Sad to say, if we start hating the haters, we become haters, too. Contrary to popular thinking, there is no “righteous” hatred of other humans.

God asks us to surrender all this hate, give it all to him, and show respect for all people. The good, the bad, the ugly – as much as we are able.
“Vengeance is mine, said the Lord, I will repay it.”

 Through the pen of the Apostle Peter, our Heavenly Father gives us this command:
“Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward.
– I Peter 2:17-18

Show the same respect to males and females, all races, rednecks and preppies, rich and poor, janitors and CEOs, the government, the Donald Trumps and Vladimir Putins of this world? Doesn’t that just choke you!

We don’t have to approve of what they do; we may denounce their actions as wrong. But Jesus clearly warns us never to call any person a fool, an idiot, or a good-for-nothing:
“Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.”
Matthew 5:22

Pretty sobering stuff!

Dear Christian friends & readers, have you taken these Scriptures to heart? Each of us needs to be sure that we are as free of anger and name-calling as the Lord wants us to be.

Free Book

On Sunday fellow writer Dan Walsh notified his followers that Amazon is offering the first book in his latest series free until tomorrow. Having read the second book in this series and found it very good, I decided to claim this first one.

If These Walls Could Talk (Joe Boyd Suspense Series Book 1) by [Dan Walsh]
Sergeant Joe Boyd —If you’ve read the Jack Turner mystery series, you met him there — is a detective in the small city of Culpepper, a town in the deep South. And he’s just been promoted to Lieutenant and given the responsibility to head Culpepper’s Cold Case Squad. He’s down in the basement rummaging through old files…

Meanwhile his friend Jack Turner is doing some renovations — removing a couple of walls — from a lakeside cabin house he and his wife Rachel are buying. They come across some scratching on a couple of  the studs, and soon realize these are letters. And the letters spell HELP ME. More tearing out of wallboard reveals more letters and they piece together: I’M CHAINED UP… VERY DARK…

Jack calls Joe, who brings Sergeant Hank along to check this out. A look at the writing and they decide this best be investigated.

Next readers are taken back to June 1964, to a former plantation near Culpepper, where Mason, the youngest son of a prominent, proudly white family, is trying to cope with the attitudes of his people for generations. In a flashback to Civil War hostilities, we see this up-to-date version of “brother fighting brother; father fighting son.” Mason is a believer in civil rights for all; his father and older brother are Klan sympathizers.

I find this book almost too scary because the emotions are so real, the hatred so alive — and this takes place in an era I remember! Not some fictitious world I’ve never seen. I’ve read about all those civil rights marches and protests, about the violence directed against protesters. We see Mason caught up in all of this, prepared to join the march for civil rights, but hoping his family will never find out.

Back to the present, where Joe, Jack and Rachel are piecing together letters and puzzling over this message. Joe is investigating when these studs were placed in the wall, and by who. And who scratched the message on them. Did he escape, or will this be one of the cold cases investigated?

I’ve only gotten part way, so I can’t tell you whodunit, or to whom, but it’s hard to put the book down. If you’re interested, pick up your free copy from Amazon.

Hello Tulips

This poem by Edgar Guest takes me back to a time soon after the Stock Market Crash in Oct 1929, when the world was plunged into the Great Depression. The winter of 1930 saw a double whammy happening: in the East the economy was sinking fast as jobs were being lost; in the West the drought had begun and was to last, generally, until Aug 1937. All this while Hitler’s armies were moving into various countries and war clouds were gathering over Europe. Yes, this old world has seen some pretty tough times. As Mr Guest points out, the flowers know nothing of financial woes.

Hello Tulips

Hello, tulips, don’t you know
stocks today are very low?
You appear so bright and glad;
don’t you know that trade is bad?
You are just as fair to see
as you were in times when we
rolled in money. Tell me how
you can look so happy now?

Hello, tulips, white and red,
gleaming in the garden bed.
Can it be you haven’t heard
all the grief which has occurred?
Don’t you see the saddened eye
of the human passer-by?
By his frowning, can’t you tell
things have not been going well?

Hello, tulips, in the sun
You are lovely, every one.
But I wonder, why don’t you
wear a sad, expression, too?
Can it be you fail to see
things aren’t what they used to be?
This old world is all upset;
why don’t you begin to fret?

And they answered me, “Hello.
Nothing’s altered that we know,
warm the sun and sweet the rain,
summer skies are blue again.
Birds are singing and we nod
grateful tulip prayers to God.
Only mortals fret and strive.
We are glad to be alive.”

From his book, The Collected Works of Edgar A Guest
© 1934 by the Reilly & Lee Company

Jane Taylor’s Verse

The Ragtag Daily Prompt this morning is TWINKLE.
I know this isn’t original, but my thoughts automatically went to the little song, so I’m going to post it. I had no idea there were so many verses!
Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star was written by Jane Taylor, an English poet and novelist (1783 – 1824). She lived to be only 40 years old and probably never dreamed, as she penned the poem, that the first verse would echo through the centuries in children’s choruses all over the world.
Flourish.plainer
Stars.night.David MarkTwinkle, twinkle, little star,
How I wonder what you are!
Up above the world so high,
Like a diamond in the sky.
When the blazing sun is gone,
When he nothing shines upon,
Then you show your little light,
Twinkle, twinkle, all the night.
Then the traveler in the dark
Thanks you for your tiny spark,
How could he see where to go,
If you did not twinkle so?
In the dark blue sky you keep,
Often through my curtains peep
For you never shut your eye,
Till the sun is in the sky.
As your bright and tiny spark
Lights the traveler in the dark,
Though I know not what you are,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star.

Another Dream Gone Down

This morning while I was searching for facts to go with my last “ANNIVERSARY” post, I came across one that I’ve decided to pair up with Crimson’s Creative Challenge this week. Here’s her photo and details:

Every Wednesday I post a photo. You respond with something CREATIVE.
Here are some suggestions:

  • An answering photo
  • A cartoon
  • A joke
  • A caption
  • An anecdote
  • A short story (flash fiction)
  • A poem
  • A newly minted proverb, adage or saying
  • An essay
  • A song—the lyrics or the performance

You have plenty of scope and only two criteria:

  • Your creative offering is indeed yours
  • Your writing is kept to 150 words or less
Here’s this week’s photo

And here’s my response:

April 14, 1912

“If you don’t quit watching that ship and look where you’re puttin’ your feet we’ll be fishing you out of the drink.”

“But just look at her, will you,” Greg exclaimed as the ship sailed away. “Such a beauty! What I wouldn’t give to be aboard.”

“I don’t know. She might be cursed. What with everyone sayin’ even God can’t sink her, I’m afearin’ such pride’ may be over-grievin’ to th’Almighty. What if He decides to prove…”

Greg interrupted the pessimistic old salt. “The Almighty doesn’t give two pence what people are saying about her.”

“Lotta people aboard that ship.”

“And I’d give anything to be one of them!” Greg sighed and went back to winding cables on the dock. “Someday I’ll take that Titanic ship myself. See if I don’t!”

Come morning his dream was lost in the Atlantic’s icy waters, along with 1500 other dreams.

265 Years of Clarity

The Ragtag Daily Prompt today is ANNIVERSARY
The Word of the Day prompt is GENEROUS

To come up with a response for this morning’s prompt, ANNIVERSARY, I decided to check out what important events have happened on this day in history. And VOILA! Today is the 265th anniversary of Dr Samuel Johnson’s English Language Dictionary.

There were other smaller dictionaries around, mainly dealing with difficult and obscure and foreign words, so Dr Johnson was commissioned to compile the first comprehensive dictionary of the English language. It took him seven long years to gather and define every word in the language, with all its many angles — and the final book cost more to print than he was paid to write it!

Things haven’t changed much, have they, Writers? No “paid by the hour” in this job. 😉

Dr. Johnson illustrated many definitions with about 114,000 quotes from literature of his day, quoting from the Bible and writers like Shakespeare. He added a generous touch of humor to his definitions, too. For example, his definition of LEXICOGRAPHER:
A writer of dictionaries; a harmless drudge that busies himself in tracing the original and detailing the signification of words
And PATRON:
One who countenances, supports, or protects. Commonly a wretch who supports with insolence, and is paid with flattery. (Can you guess he didn’t have the best relationship with his own patron, the 4th Earl of Chesterfield?)

balloons-1018299_640It’s amazing how one man, single-handedly, has contributed so much to the English world of his day, and the benefits have rippled down through history. So, word lovers around the world, let’s party! Have you hugged a WORD today?

The helpful site, ON THIS DAY also informed me that:
Leonardo da Vinci was born today. (1452)
US President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. (1865)
The Titanic sank. (1912)