Down the Lane: There’s no understanding of hatred

Published 10:06 am Thursday, December 6, 2018

While pondering what to write about this week, I was conflicted on writing about my dad’s first cousin, Allen Willoughby’s, passing or former President George H. W. Bush’s passing.

To me, they were both worthy.

But, truthfully, it was what I saw on Facebook that struck me.

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I can honestly say there are people in life I like less than other people — as most of us do. But I can also truthfully say I have never hated anyone in my life.

Even during my most trying times, I have never hated anyone.

I find it hard to think of people who have hatred in their heart.

There are things I hate.

I hate cancer for what it does in people’s lives when it takes the lives of those you love.

I hate snakes. I consider them evil, not to mention scary and sneaky.

I dislike liars and find it hard to understand how people lie so easily and casually to others. I know we have all lied at some point, but it is something I do my best to avoid.

While I do hate these things, I understand them.

Even with my cancer, I learned from it. I learned to not take a day in my life for granted.

After going through stage four cancer, there is something I once read that holds true for me: “No matter how good or bad your life is, wake up each morning and be thankful you still have one.”

I don’t know who said this first, but it is something with which I wholeheartedly agree.

I recently saw a post on Facebook suggesting our former president should, “rot in hell.”

For one thing, how can any American say that about a former president and one who did so much for this nation?

No matter if you agree with that president or their policies, I would never want any person to “rot in hell.”

It made me wonder about the type of person who could write such a statement.

From what I have read in the Bible, no one should ever wish another one to go to hell.

Is there that much hatred around our world? Those are such strong words, it truly stunned me. Nothing is worse than hell and no one has seen anything like it on Earth.

Even with the horrible fires in California that my heart hurts for the people involved, they still have a hope to a new life.

In hell, it is eternal like heaven is eternal.

While I know there are people you have greater respect for in life than others, our life would be very boring for sure if we all thought alike.

In a lot of ways we learn from one another but I can not imagine the kind of world we would live in if we all wished the other one to “rot in hell.”

Where does hatred actually come from? If we allow it to fester, it just makes us sick.

We should not take the emotion of hatred lightly.

Disliking is natural because we are all not going to think alike.

Many of us have hurts in life that may never be forgotten because they were too deep. When we allow ourselves to rise above the hurts, we help ourselves.

Forgetting and forgiveness are two completely different things and both are powerful.

Sometimes, it may take years to do and each person is different in their forgiveness.

I think and hope there are very few people who wish that anyone would rot in a burning hell.

To me, it is a little ironic that my cousin, Allen Willoughby, and President George H.W. Bush both passed in the same week.

Both seemed to care more about other peoples’ well being than their own.

Allen carried on the Willoughby family legacy as patriarch for me and my cousins even though our own parents were gone.

Even at 93 years old, he attended our family reunion last year.

I can’t help but think of the last words I remember him speaking to me. He told me it would probably be his last reunion. How prophetic.

At that reunion I was handed a box of my family’s history of reunions. Allen was always willing to give us good advice and share memories when we asked it of him.

His memory will stay with me forever.

His gift of passing on his knowledge and love to us will never be forgotten.

Former President George H.W. Bush also has passed on his knowledge, his sage advice and his love to his family and country.

Listening to the TV today and hearing his family speak of him was so sweet.

I could not help but think of the joy I felt when I was present when he parachuted at the age of 90 years old from the helicopter in front of his Kennebunkport, Maine, summer home.

As I am watching those who hold his casket from every branch of the military, I had to stand in honor.

Bush will make his final flight to Washington D.C. and as this week he will be honored so will I honor him. I am one American who salutes you, Mr. President.

Sue Staton is a Clark County native who grew up in the Kiddville area. She is a wife, mother and grandmother who is active in her church, First United Methodist Church, and her homemakers group, Towne and Country Homemakers.