Over the years I’ve been the target of occasional hate mail. That “goes with the territory” when you put yourself into the public eye. I’m sure any of you putting your work out to the world have had similar experiences.

When I was in college my major course was history, which I’ve always loved. One of my favorite historical figures was US Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes. He was an articulate speaker and writer. Here’s one of his quotations:

…if there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought—not free thought for those who agree with us but freedom for the thought that we hate.” (Emphasis added.)

That’s a pretty strong statement—freedom for the thought we hate. How many of us can fully allow those who disagree with us, even if their thoughts are deeply offensive to us? Or even if they hate us?

There’s no reason the answer or solution to a question or problem we have cannot come through someone who has a different perspective from our own.

As Spirit has said many times, answers can come from any source. But we have to be open—open even to those who may hate us because they hate our thoughts.

Copyright © 2017 by John Cali, revised 2020
Edited by Berna Copray


This short video was produced by the Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission and the Northern Ireland Evangelical Alliance. They discuss freedom of religious thought. But for “religious,” you can substitute “political,” “spiritual,” etc. etc.

Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.


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