Voice of the Day: James Baldwin

I’ve found today’s quote to be one of the most profoundly insightful things to be written about the nature of human hatred.

“I imagine that one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, that they will be forced to deal with pain.” — James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son (Boston: Beacon Press, 1955).

James Baldwin was writing about his relationship with his father, but I believe the truth he stated is almost universal. Universal in applying to nearly all of us, universal in applying to nearly all our hates. Letting go of our hates forces us to deal with pain, but confronting our pain is the only way to truly address and neutralize it. Pain hidden under hatred only becomes all the more corrosive. It not easy to confront our pain, but God will be with us. The Holy Spirit will neither forsake nor abandon us.