&copy2003 Gail Pursell Elliott

The weather service has criteria for issuing weather advisories. Sometimes there is a heat advisory, sometimes a wind advisory, sometimes a winter weather advisory. In all of these instances, once those who are keeping an eye on weather patterns see the potential for danger to us, they issue an advisory so that we can take extra precautions.

Weather advisories often are due to conditions that produce either extreme heat or cold. Some of us prepare ourselves if we have to venture out into these conditions. Some just stay indoors if possible.

Others don't pay attention to the advisories. They may actually enjoy the challenge of dangerous situations. Still others miss hearing them, forget, are unaware, or don't take them seriously. Some may become very ill or find themselves in desperate situations.

In all of these situations, we rely on experts to tell us what is happening to the climate. In our own lives however we may be reluctant to believe warning signals or advisories we may get from attitudes and actions.

It would be helpful if we had "hate advisories" just as we have "heat advisories" so that precautions could be taken there as well.

You may immediately think of attitudes and actions of people who believe themselves to be superior to others or who have different beliefs. You may think of those who isolate, exclude, ridicule, or bully others in school or workplaces or elsewhere in your community. You may think of appalling hate crimes reported in the media.

All of these are outcomes, for which advisories would have helped us prepare. Preparing how to meet these situations is all we can do. We cannot change others any more than we can change the weather. Both have to change on their own.

What might not be so obvious, though, are the hate advisories that occur within us that affect our own attitudes and actions towards others. Many of them begin when we take the words or actions of others personally when they are indicators of some pain or frustration that have nothing to do with us. But we get the flack and react.

Hatred is a negative force that contaminates the positive potential of the present moment. Although hateful thoughts, words, and actions can certainly hurt others, we are the ones who are hurt the most.

Hatred is very insidious and may creep into our lives by holding onto past situations. It can cloud our awareness and block our ability to be insightful. It damages our own sense of dignity and respect.

The best precaution to take when a hate advisory is issued within us is to reconnect ourselves with the truth within us and take action based on that truth rather than reacting to people and situations. Love and hate cannot exist simultaneously in the same place deep within us, just as worry and faith cannot. One will eclipse the other.

When it comes to relationships, those based on mutual hatred of some outside force or situation may appear to be just as passionate and strong as those based on something positive and loving. The problem is that the hatred must be maintained or transferred to keep those relationships alive. If the resentment dissolves in the light of insight or a new awareness the relationship may dissolve along with it.

People who operate from a basis of love will look for other things to love. People who operate from a basis of hatred will look for other things to hate or resent regardless of what it does to them or others. It becomes the basis of their interactions in more than just one type of situation.

The following Native American metaphor describes this process well -

A grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt.
He said, "I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart.
One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one.
The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one."
The grandson asked him,
"Which wolf will win the fight in your heart?"
The grandfather answered, "The one I feed."

Have a great day and be good to yourself. You deserve it!


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Author's Bio: 

Speaker, Author, Trainer and Consultant, graduate of Penn State University, post-graduate education certificate work at the University of South Florida, member of American Mensa, Member of the American Society for Training and Development, is founder of Innovations “Training With A Can-Do Attitude” , located in central Iowa.

Website: www.innovations-training.comGail is author of the book School Mobbing and Emotional Abuse: See It – Stop It – Prevent It with Dignity and Respect, “Food For Thought”, a column that is distributed internationally by email and is often reprinted in various publications, and co-author of the book Mobbing: Emotional Abuse in the American Workplace, Her articles have appeared not only in printed media, but some can be viewed on the Internet on such sites as the Iowa Business Network, TopAchievement.com, Motivating Moments, and LivingLifeFully.com She has created mobbing awareness posters for both schools and workplaces, inspirational posters, dignity and respect T-shits, and writes and designs training, motivation, and inspirational materials,Gail has over 20 years of professional experience in administration, recruitment, training, and motivation.

Operating from the basic premise that ‘all people want and have the right to be treated with dignity and respect … no exceptions’ she travels nationally to conduct staff and supervisory training for both profit and not-for-profit organizations and a see-it/stop-it/prevent-it approach to emotional abuse in schools and workplaces.

She designs sessions upon request to address specific needs and timely issues, and is a featured speaker at conferences as well as a sought after media expert on workplace and school violence.

Gail has been a guest on such programs as MSNBC’s Deborah Norville Tonight, ABC World News Now television programs and the Workplace Violence Today program on talk radio.