The Easiest Emotion to Teach

At Christmas in 1999, my grandparents gave me a copy of The Century for Young People.

That book was my treasure trove for years, and parts of it stick with me still.

In the past several years, I’ve frequently recalled a sidebar that featured the recollections of a man who’d joined the local Klan as a child because it was the thing to do.

“Hate is the easiest emotion to teach,” he recalled. In the face of obvious difference, it’s much easier to plant the idea that people who don’t look, speak, or worship like us are wrong and therefore hateful.

A century later, we’re going to have to learn all over again how to leach hate out of our culture after it’s been let loose.