The Source of Hate Exists In Our Separation Through Time and Space

Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

There is no growth without space

For as long as I can remember, I have had the greatest fascination with space, with both bewilderment at its immense vastness and of the possibilities it offered in everyday life and the universe. When I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey for the first time, I became even more fixated on space and subsequently on the tremendous odyssey we were all traversing as humans and as beings in the universe. The further I immersed myself in this exploration, the more I could no longer see space in the same manner ever again. No longer after when I eventually learned, in a nutshell, Einstein’s theories of relativity, it grew into an obsession, after learning that time and space were of the same fabric. The implications were enormous to fathom and at times it even feels like a burden, taking me down through the most frightening rabbit holes as I attempt to make sense of it. It was almost as if my mind had been enveloped in a black hole, which of course would be a more frightening prospect.

The source of hate exists in our separation

My other fascination beyond space is the concept and emotion of hate. Hatred continues to be the one thing that perplexes me as much as the space-time continuum we shared. When you ponder the significance of our place in the universe, it puts into perspective the trivialities of such things that do not benefit our lives in any manner. Coming to understand relativity, you become in tune with our limited time on this earth and then factoring in how we should hold in high regard the sacredness of the chance to be in the first place out of all possibilities to even exist, why is there even time to hate? How can we afford to be hateful when it makes our lives much harder than it needs to be.

From an ontological perspective, hate would seem to be a contradiction in the midst of the necessary cohesion needed to survive in our community, society, and this world. Of course, it may seem natural to feel hate. But hate is an extreme emotion (or thought) that seems to manifest and fester when it is combined with rhetoric and even untruths. But at the root of hatred, is really just indifference -which may be seen as a mild form that really should not be cause for concern, but it is. Hate itself on the other hand is the most extreme form of indifference, magnified by a sense of division. Like the political wings, we find ourselves on, imagine that many people are simply indifferent, whether out of apathy or simply having faith in their leaders or unopposed to the status quo, that may benefit them.

Hence, indifference is a cause of concern for it actually leads to hate. So, we should really make efforts to get to the bottom of it. Hence to tackle hate, we must remind ourselves what has caused the indifference. We can suggest that it begins with fear or ignorance, but at the root of it all, it’s caused by the difference which resulted from our separation from each other. Everything from our make-up, cultures, history, beliefs, actions, etc. Separation is even evident in even tight-knit communities, which are not immune to forms of indifference. There will always be some form of aversion to a neighbor, it only makes sense when it extends to a bigger arena. But what this demonstrates is hatred stems from not loving our neighbors like they were our own family. Going further if we loved others as we did ourselves, then naturally we would all be more selfless.

Everyone desires a safe space

Growing up in a western nation as a minority. I have experienced hate and am still considered an ‘other, I still am and I still feel that. As a member of the Vietnamese diaspora, I knew I could never truly belong. That the space I was occupying in the country that gave my family refuge was also conflicting (Australia). Though we welcomed the change to start again we did not however welcome the sentiments directed towards us of aliens or leaches. As those who had lost their homes, it becomes conflicting that the space we would go on to occupy were once homes to the people who had inhabited the lands. Right now, I live, work and write in a space that once belonged to the Wurundjeri People of the Kulin Nation. They were the traditional owners of this land. Indigenous Australians have seen insurmountable damage to their population, space, and their homes. The damage is even irreparable. Though a defining aspect of space is that is to be consumed. That’s nature, but it does not mean we should take advantage of it and destroy spaces and those that are inhabited, we need to find a way to cultivate them for the benefit of all.

How we occupy space, determines our place

Growing up as children of refugees, you come to learn more quickly the importance of cultivating your space, and finding a place where you can thrive or even belong. But sometimes we forget that we can escape to other places, sometimes without even leaving our place. Whenever I did not like the space I was in (even in my mind). I could always escape to places whether it was finding comfort in other worlds, in art, books, music. Come to think of it, thinking about space consumes me in many other ways when I’m not thinking about its implications. In my downtime, I like to envision spaces, designing spaces, like my dream home, backyards, community gardens, sustainable housing, even just finding ways to utilize space in economical and sustainable ways, like nomad’s with respect and reverence to nature, to not maximize and overrun lands to be plundered or exploited — for which no one seemed to heed the sentiments expressed by Adam Smith. It became conveniently lost on those who care only for production and not the by-product. That’s another issue to be of concern as we head into the future, the focus on by-products — for everything we make to consume, means some space in our world will be bearing the brunt, may we not forget pollution of water sources, degradation of ecosystems like forests or the most damaging of all, greenhouse gases. Sometimes I wonder how we have come so far as to not look back. In subsequent decades, a great proportion of our cities will be flooded and more people will lose their homes and their spaces. They will need to find other homes in other spaces.

Movement offers perspectives

The reality is, to undertake a task of understanding something so abstract and fundamental as space will ultimately entail a lot of exploration. The beauty is, we can focus on movement. Without it, we would be limited. We have to imagine that the more we move, the more we gain and discover, but as with the laws of the universe, it also means we lose things on the way. Hence why it has become so important to claim space to make it our own, or even thinking about our place in the universe. This is why it becomes crucial to utilize space in this matter. To understand the root of our problems and to counteract the most unproductive and disastrous sentiment known to humankind, hate.

Look at life from both sides, now!

If you are wondering why exploring the notions of space is paramount to a discussion of how spacetime (relativity) can remind us of our connection. Well, it turns out if relativity was stressed in this manner we would think twice about hate. As time and space naturally separate us, and so does our lack of understanding of this universal law.

If you tolerate this then your children will be next

The source of hate will not be corrected by placating, only by educating. The reality is we cannot get rid of hate, all acts in the past cannot be made up for, but we can override hate by acts that reciprocate. If not, we risk remaining in inertia for the future. Hate really does not have to exist, if we do not give it the space to grow and to consume us.

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Vi Nguyen

Vi Nguyen

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Writer & budding filmmaker from Melbourne, Australia. On a quest to spark ripples in the consciousness and to bridge the divide through universal understanding.