Hate needs a makeover.
I’m not a big fan of hate. Or of hateful people. But out of fairness, as a society we haven’t done a great job teaching people the proper way to hate others, have we?
None of us are born haters. Hate is something we learn rather informally, often influenced by those who guide us though our formative years. The people who teach us how to hate have no course syllabus or Powerpoint presentations to ensure we are doing it the “right” way. Rather, we become unsuspecting apprentices, watching and listening to the actions and words of those who we look up to and someday hope to make proud. Hate can be passed from one generation to the next just as easily as the color of someone’s eyes.
One of the more “classic” forms of hate is to lump all members of a particular group into one and collectively hate them all. It is probably much easier to hate all people of a certain color, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, nationality, or religion than it is to hate only a selected few. The simplicity of this method of hate is what makes it quite popular and universally applicable. It’s simplicity also undermines any “credibility” the hater may seek to establish, as if hatred and bigotry could ever be legitimized. Hate 1.0.
A more “advanced” form of hate is to focus upon only one person and to hold that individual “accountable” for their actions or beliefs. This form of hate requires substantially more thought and “evidence” on the part of the hater, making this a far less popular method of hate. Often when one seriously contemplates why they should hate another they will usually find they lack the tangible proof they need to support their convictions, which from what I understand can be quite frustrating. Perhaps it’s just so much easier to hate everyone?
THE RADICAL IDEA What if, though, we simply decided not to hate at all? Hate is always an option. But so is love. And we are the only ones who get to decide how we choose to respond to those whose belief system, genetic make-up, life experiences, or actions differ from our own.
What if we sought to better understand those who we feel are “worthy” of our own hatred? Understanding is often the key component in negating the fears which serve as the backbone of hate. We need not agree with, like, support, or embrace those whose demographics, deeds, or philosophies differ from ours, but we don’t have to hate them, no matter how “justified” we may feel in doing so.
Hate perpetuates hate.
In a world as diverse as ours there’s always an opportunity to hate someone.
But there’s always an opportunity for love.
What will your choice be?
It’s a great day to be you!