Our parents are our first teachers. As little beings, everything we learn is by watching them. Our first set of values are instilled by their values, and more than anything by what we see them do.
It’s true that hurt people hurt people, because that’s what they grew up learning how to do.
When I was little, I was taught that love is the most important thing in a family. If any of us got upset with each other, we had to make peace and tell each other that we loved them because we are family, and that’s what families do - they stick by each other, through thick and thin. We were taught that if we fought, everyone loses, and if we love each other, everyone wins. We were taught that no matter the geographic distance between us, we would always be there for one another - and we have each always shown up for each other. We were taught that money was something that was much, much further down the list of priorities. We were taught to be independent, to be ourselves, to be strong students of life, and to never stop learning. But what always, always reigned supreme was the importance of kindness and loving one another.
Not everyone has been as lucky as me. Some have grown up learning lessons very different than mine. Some people grow up watching their families hurt each other, cut each other down, lie, cheat, steal, betray. Some even learn how to purposefully hurt each other, and that the one who dealt the most hurtful blows was the ‘victorious’ one. For a young child to witness this behavior, they quickly deduce that that hurting each other is a competitive game. And as they emulate their parents, they learn to celebrate hurting and pushing another down.
I know that - sadly - many people learned this behavior of kicking your ‘loved’ ones in the face and feeling triumphant when doing so. I know that this type of thing happens all the time in varying degrees. It covers everything from giant lies and embezzlements to ‘hating’ your friend because she’s more popular.
I am certain there are ways that I am not very nice, but I don’t purposefully try to hurt others, and I have never rejoiced in someone else’s pain.
It is my sincere prayer that those who are perpetuating cycles of hurt on this planet learn that there is a different way, and make the choice to break those patterns of behavior. There is the way of Love, kindness, compassion, and caring thoughtfulness among humans. It most certainly exists. Love is always present. It is always open-armed. It is always forgiving.