I don't think Gus has a hateful bone in his body. He loves animals, and kids on the playground who hit him, and homeless people, and just about anyone who seems scared. Even when he was a tiny tiny baby, (like only days old still in the nursery at the hospital tiny) he seemed to tune in to other kids who were upset. I would hold him and whisper that he was okay, that it wasn't happening to him, that the other kid who was crying would be okay too, and he would settle down. Maybe (big possibility) I was projecting stuff onto him, but I don't know. He does seem to be empathic. He goes up to kids who are crying and comforts them. He puts his arm around kids in his swim class who are scared.
Gus, on the other hand, doesn't seem to fear much of anything. He got 4 shots at his 18 month appointment and didn't even flinch. He goes down the big slide by himself at the park. Sometimes he falls because it's so fast - but he hops right up and starts climbing the stairs, ready to go again. He's been okay being dunked under water (at swim class) since he was about 7 months old. He goes to sleep at night in a completely dark room all by himself (that's new and we are sooo proud!). Maybe there is a connection between his fearlessness and his big-heartedness?
I do think there's some lesson in there. Because hate is driven by fear. So the best response would seemingly be to show the haters love. But, damn, that is hard. Especially when they are hatin' on me just for being myself. I think I may be too old and cynical to be able to respond with love. The best I can do is walk away. But Gus, I think, could be a little ambassador of love. I think kids often are. I know many stories about icy relationships melting once kids are involved. But it doesn't seem fair to him, to be put in that position. Then again, he has to live in this world. Hate and fear are taught. So is love I guess. I'm not sure. All I know is that I want to do my best to encourage him to continue to be confident, to be fearless where it counts: to love.