Sympathy for the Devil

If I were the devil I would strike up the band and throw a party. I’d be scrubbing my hands in glee right now as I watched my plans coming to fruition. The papers are spreading hate, political parties are spreading hate, and the television spews it at an unprecedented rate. Hate sells. Hate the Jews! Hate the rich! Hate the poor! Let’s all hate someone! Hate’s little brother Fear is also making a real comeback these days. Fear other countries! Fear the government! Fear the Blacks! Fear the Whites! Fear the Muslims! Unfortunately many people seem to be getting on the bandwagon driven by Hate and Fear, or as I like to call them—the Chaos Brothers.

If you hate your neighbor because he stole your wife or ran over your dog, that’s one thing. But to hate complete strangers because they look different, act different, think different or believe different than you—that’s a whole different level of hate. If you fear a rattlesnake, I don’t blame you. But to fear someone because they wear a turban, a head scarf or a cross makes no sense.

The road to hell on earth starts with fear and hate. In the past, these things had to be spread person to person. It was slow and it was harder to do. It nonetheless was done and ended in the deaths of many, many people. Here are just a few of the consequences over time:

  • The Inquisition killed thousands. Exact numbers are unknown.
  • The Crusades resulted in some 1.7 million deaths. And this in a time when the population of the world was only 335 million.
  • The U.S. Civil War resulted in 650,000 deaths. The population of the U.S. at the time? 31 million.
  • World War II brought about 60 million deaths. The entire war was based on religion and race.

It would be my conclusion that Fear and Hate are not good companions. But boy does hate get a lot of media coverage.

Wouldn’t it be better to be in-the-know about those who help others? Here are just a few accomplishments of those working on the side of good.

  • During WW II Poles who aided Jews were executed. It was the law. In spite of this, the Polish people aided hundreds of thousands of Jews. Tens of thousands of Poles were executed in the process, but they as a people would not stop helping.
  • Vasili Arkhipov was a Russian Naval Officer who single-handedly prevented nuclear war by convincing his captain not to fire a nuclear missile during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
  • James Harrison is a guy in Australia who has a very rare blood type. His 1,000+ plasma donations over 57 years have saved more than 2 million unborn babies. 
  • Gino Strada is an Italian physician and humanitarian who has performed surgeries in 13 war‑torn countries, saving 30,000 lives and many more if you include all the hospitals his charity has founded.

I’d be willing to bet that you have never heard of any of these people. Unfortunately, good deeds don’t get the press that fear and hate do. But there truly are more good people around than not. Just check your neighbors. I’d bet that most of them are pretty good people. Is it their good deeds that get talked about, or is it the scandalous that circulates in the neighborhood?

Every time you turn on the news and listen to an article about how bad things are, it is an invitation to be afraid. Every time you turn on a television program about how evil some group is, it is an invitation to hate.

It is not true that all blacks hate whites. It is not true that all whites are racist. It is not true that all Democrats are out to destroy the country. It is not true that all Republicans want to ruin the environment. It is not true that all Christians reject science. It is not true that all Muslims abuse women. Any reports to the contrary just welcome Fear and Hate into your life.

Every time you turn on the news and listen to an article about how bad things are, it is an invitation to be afraid. Every time you turn on a television program about how evil some group is, it is an invitation to hate.

But there’s one thing about invitations: you don’t have to accept. The people of Poland didn’t, even though it cost many of them their lives.

You don’t have to be afraid and you certainly don’t have to hate. You can make a difference. Just look at the millions of lives saved by just three people in the list above. How many could be saved if everyone was trying, and letting you know about that?

Photo by: Christopher Penler /

Deanne Macdonald
Business consultant and student of life.