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Letter: We’re not born to hate, it’s something we learn

We’re not born to hate, it’s something we learn

Sitting in my living room the other evening, my wife walked in harboring a big smile after a phone conversation with her daughter, who works as a technician. Apparently, her boss mistakenly gave her much too much paycheck money for her overtime work. She told her boss of this oversight, who was dumbfounded at her honesty and asked her to keep part of it.

I have always felt that given the opportunity, there was larceny in everyone. But I was wrong. It made me wonder about the recent letter titled, “How do people justify stealing from others?” Watching, over the years, my step-daughter and her husband teaching her boys right from wrong and, on the other hand, seeing hate and invective spewed daily during our presidential campaign, brings to mind the words to a song from the musical, “South Pacific” – “you’ve got to be carefully taught.”

How true! Whether some of us steal or some of us hate, somewhere in life, this was either overlooked or “carefully taught.” We’re not born with these distasteful illnesses. We may not, necessarily, be born with innate goodness. But for good or for evil, both involve years of nurturing and influence.

Leonard Gross

East Amherst

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