• By Lt. Tim McMillan

When It Feels Easy To Hate.

I took some time to for introspection last night. I've spent so much time lately investigating everything else in the world, that truthfully I think I had began to lose myself.

I can't imagine I felt much unlike a lot of people right now. The more thought you put into world events, the easier it becomes to find yourself polarized against your fellow human beings.

It feels as if the world is a giant rubber band that has become stretched to the point where the tension is terrifying to even look at. It feels like there is no play room for independence in thought or belief. It seems as if the slightest vibration could cause the whole thing to pop at any moment.

The truth is everyone is looking for a safe space. Because it feels like the only source of relief must come from picking a side of the rubber band and holding on for dear life. The forced choice solution, comes from the belief that when it eventually pops, one side of the rubber band will fly off into greatness, while the other falls in disparity.

I realized last night that I felt myself becoming ideologically "radicalized". I felt anger and a willingness to be careless and spiteful towards others. I felt evil creeping into my heart. Not the kind of evil that people often associate with wickedness, such as violence or a callousness to human suffrage. Rather, the kind of evil that whispers so faintly you can't even hear it, "You want peace, but those others over there, they only want conflict. It's ok to hate them, go ahead pick a side."

Somewhere in-between a fateful phone call from a dear friend, an oddly serendipitous email, and watching my kids as they slept, I remembered something. I recalled why I had a "public figure" social media page to begin with.

It wasn't ever just about a story involving a white cop who pulled over a scared Black youth. Indeed, it was a social-tragedy that young man was ever afraid of me to begin with. However, it wasn't society, racial divisiveness, culture or the media that ultimately made the entire event so harrowing. It was what I saw in that young man that was far beyond the confines of our race, religion, occupation, culture, or anything else we associate with being who we are.

It was about what makes us alive. Whatever that "it" is, that gives us the ability to be living, breathing, sentient beings. Because that morning I saw "it" and I can tell you for a fact "it" is truly exactly the same in all of us.

The same infelicitous evil that made that young man feel fear from me that morning, is the same iniquity that makes people think they have to be on either side of life's rubber band.

Sometimes giving in to evil doesn't feel all that evil. Sometimes it feels like the right thing to do. However, last night I remembered that giving in to evil, into darkness, in any form was ultimately the scariest thing I could imagine.

So behind the badge I wear, behind the clothes I wear, under my skin, exist a belief. A belief in the goodness of humanity, and faith in the power of love. I reject the belief I must pick a side of the rubber band. I refuse the concept that we all can't experience what I did, and remember all this divineness and hatefulness, is counterproductive to world we will eventually leave to for children. Not to mention, it just plan isn't who we are!

Instead, I'll just try to focus on moving those sides just a bit closer and see if we can't ease just a little bit of the tension. How, am I going to do that, I have no clue right now, but at least I can try.

So God bless every single person who woke up to this world this morning. May those who aren't here anymore's memories be a blessing.

And may the day come soon that ignites sparks of unity amongst us all.

Tim McMillan is a retired police lieutenant and investigative intelligence analyst; and holds BA's in mathematics and cognitive psychology. Primarily, focusing on the Defense and Intelligence Communities, he now uses his unique background, coupled with a willingness to examine any mystery, to deliver groundbreaking investigative reporting. Tim is a contributor for The War Zone, Vice, and Popular Mechanics

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© Lieutenant Tim McMillan All Rights Reserved by The Raziel Group LLC