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Rush Dozier

Dozier gives us a well researched and annotated discussion on why we hate. He searches for underlying causes and their effects. He is at once scientific and practical, theoretical and factual. He also offers valid means for reducing hate.

We paraphrase them here:

      Be specific; clearly identify your source of anger, pain or threat. This will help keep things rational.

      Develop an us-us orientation, using empathy which means "feeling with" the other, not sympathizing. Children consistently encouraged early on to empathize, grow to adulthood with robust ability to empathize. Not only does empathy tend to dampen violence, it hastens reconciliation afterwards.

      Communicate specific reasons for your feelings; this promotes their release. Generalizing can intensify anger and inflame hate. So be specific.

      Be constructive in putting things back together and resolve the source of hate and anger.

      Educate yourself. An enormous amount of hatred and prejudice arise from ignorance. In fact, failing to do this led the Bush Administration to pile mistake on mistake in the Middle East.

      Cooperate with others in finding mutual solutions that build trust.

      Look for perspective instead of over-reacting. This exercise tends to engage the neural centers and tend to suppress primitive responses.

      Avoid the sense of feeling trapped. This may require all the above. Try finding creative challenges in your frustrations.

      If hate arises in spite of your best efforts, look for way to engage the object of your hatred in positive ways. Failure to do so brings about impasse to no one's benefit.

      Seek justice, not revenge. Vengeance locks you in the past and sows the seeds of repeat performances. Revenge is just one reason why history repeats itself--as it in now in Iraq.

This is serious stuff. Dozier notes that in acting out their hatred, people may honestly believe they are doing the right thing. Shades of the White House!

If we have a criticism of this otherwise very excellent book, it is that the means Dozier recommends to cure hate do not go deep enough. Emotions underlie not only hate but the means to address it. We believe Dialogue with empathy is a more universal, effective, and simple method for reducing hate. A society accustomed to true dialogue will apply all the above methods as part of its natural style. If none of them work, a society steeped in dialogue will search for and find methods that do.

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