For some people, a thimble is more than a tool used for sewing. It can be a tool used to eliminate hate, said Brent Scarpo,the creator of Journey to a Hate-Free Millennium.
Scarpo said the best way for people to end the cycle of hate that exists in society is to look within themselves.
Monday night, Scarpo presented his film, which documented the ways hate has manifested itself in U.S. culture. The film documented the murder of Matthew Shepard, who was beaten to death because he was gay; the death of James Byrd Jr., a black man who was bound and dragged behind a car for three miles; and the Columbine High School shooting.
During a lecture before the film, Scarpo used a story of a thimble his mother had given to him as a gift for graduation.
His mother told him to fill the thimble with love, care and respect for himself, and she would never have to worry about him.
He said this thimble could have played a role in the tragic events that unfolded.
“This thimble represents the way that people need to stop and fill it with self-worth in themselves so they do not commit these horrible acts,” said Scarpo. “I believe that these individuals on these dates did not have a full thimble.”
Scarpo said that people must look inside themselves all the time in order to answer one question before they choose to have hatred toward someone.
“What is it about myself that I hate so much that I am willing to hurt someone?” said Scarpo.
The film was something that would provide viewers with a way that they could see the effects of this thought, Scarpo said. It gave people the chance to see how the hatred that spawned these events affected not only the world but also the families and friends of those who had been lost.
Jay Bagley, a student majoring in religious studies, said the lecture brought up a subject matter existing even here at USF.
“People don’t realize how close to home this kind of hatred is on this campus,” Bagley said, “I mean look at the Muslim students on this campus after the events of Sept. 11.”
In concluding his lecture, Scarpo said that he was not like most other motivational speakers.
“I don’t want you to be my future, I want you to be my present,” Scarpo said. “I want you to be my present because you can vocalize about topics of hatred you want to change. If you are my future, then you would not be able to correct problems of hatred that we have in the present.”