Natural Dreamwork with Mary Jo

taught to hate…

“You can tell you have made God in your image when it turns 
out he hates all the same people you do.”  ~Anne Lamott

I love musicals and have been known to bore friends on long car rides with my own car game ‘name that musical’ where I sang different songs. 
One time when Joe and I were hiking we turned and saw a large bear heading towards us. I coughed to warn him that we were there, which he took for, “Hey, come on over here – fast!” Joe yelled and waved his arms. The bear left…but did he? We had to go back in his direction to get to the car. For the next hour the hills were alive with my full repertoire of songs from musicals.
When I was nine, I saw the film version of “South Pacific,” and there was one particular song that has stayed with me…sings in my ear when I hear people speak from a place of hatred, fear and divisiveness. It is a teaching on the wounding that happens to some of us…and challenges me to keep my heart open in the presence of such woundedness.  It is the song “You’ve Got to Be Carefully Taught” (to Hate).  

“Can you keep your heart open in hell?”
~Stephen Levine 

In 1949, under criticism and growing controversy, Rodgers and Hammerstein refused to remove this song from the musical, even if it meant that the production would be cancelled. Today while even some of this wording is painfully ethnocentric…“eyes are oddly made”…it still carries a powerful message. The Lieutenant Cable character says, “Racism is not born in you! It happens after you’re born…” and then sings the following…

You’ve got to be taught
To hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught
From year to year,
It’s got to be drummed
In your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught.
You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
You’ve got to be carefully taught.
You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
Before you are six or seven or eight,
To hate all the people your relatives hate,
You’ve got to be carefully taught!

(Image by Kierra Washington)

Mary Jo Heyen is a Natural Dreamwork Practitioner working with clients throughout the country and abroad in person, phone or Skype. Learn more about her work with dreams at or