I believe that love is unconditional and doesn’t judge. I believe that loving someone who believes the complete opposite of what I do, no matter how offensive it is, is the true meaning of “love trumps hate.”

Only loving someone who agrees with me and hating anyone else is not love. Love is universal and applied to all.

Hating someone who disagrees with me, only creates more hate. But by loving them, more love is created. It is not possible for me to hate someone who truly loves me. I can feel angry at them, but I cannot hate them.

But saying I love someone is extremely different than feeling it. I must truly feel the warmth inside for someone I used to hate in order to really love and have them know and feel that I love them. Otherwise it is just insulting to their intelligence.

I see love as bringing together and creating room for healing. I see hate as further dividing, pushing away, and creating more damage and pain.

I see love as being enlightened and truly progressive. I see hate as suffering, even if the hate is for valid reasons.

This election I have seen so much hate and I see people saying that listening to someone who disagrees with them is a waste of time. The other person already has their mind made up and isn’t going to change, so why bother?

But I see this as why it is so vital that we do listen. What if, instead of listening to change other people’s minds, we listen to gain understanding of the other person? Understand why they believe what they believe and what factors in their life have led them to these conclusions that are so different from our own and so filled with hate.

I see being able to listen to someone who disagrees with me as a strength. Yes, they might say something that is offensive to me in some way, whether they mean it or not, but it means that I get to grow. The point of life isn’t to avoid pain. That doesn’t make it okay to be insensitive, but it also means that growing hurts — that is why it is called “growing pains.” So by listening and opening myself up to others who disagree with me, I am evolving into someone who is no longer spreading hate, but instead love.

What will be so harmful about removing the judgment? Things can’t get any worse, can they? Does not being judgmental mean that you approve? Or is it possible that you can disagree and not judge or hate?

I think that what is often forgotten is that everyone has a past and a reason for everything they think, do, and believe. I can think that they have a good reason or I can think that they have a bad reason, but there is one. And understanding this reason allows them to become a person in my eyes and not just an idea of a horrible person who believes X.

We have tried hate and it has not worked. Let’s try loving unconditionally. Let’s try not judging.

After all, hating a group of people for their beliefs could describe someone who is racist or someone who hates racists. Do you really want to be guilty of what you accuse someone else of doing?