hatred bounces

I’ve been thinking about hating all week. There are many things I hate. I hate rodents in my house. I hate eating snails. I hate drug addiction, poverty, being told what to do, infected wounds, megalomania, homelessness, and driving on the New Jersey Turnpike. But for the most part, I have a difficult time getting it up enough to truly hate people. The combination of being raised by liberal, weenie parents (Hi Dad! Thanks for reading!) and embracing what was left of hippy-dom during my formative years in the 1970’s (I’m sorry, I really believe we should give peace a chance.) has left me with a dearth of hate. My mom always corrected me when I told her I hated something, saying, “Dislike intensely. Hate is a very strong word.” But even though I love strong words, strong feelings, strong ideas, I don’t hate people. I definitely hate what people do. I often hate what people say. But I don’t hate people. Because given just half a minute, I seem to have the capacity to imagine what’s underneath the horrible action or terrible words. I think little hateful deeds and words come from people who have been damaged, or are stupid or thoughtless. I think that people who are so damaged or mentally ill that they can’t see other people’s humanity or the sanctity of life perpetrate the hugely hateful things, the truly heinous acts. I really hate  that they do those things. Where do you fall out on this? Who or what do you hate?


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13 responses to “hatred bounces

  1. Peg

    On the day Osama bin laden was killed, I found myself alone in that I felt no hate. Just hollow. I did not hate him And I do not hate people–even people who hate me. I don’t understand them and I fear them a little bit, but I don’t hate. I was reared on Peter Paul and Mary and Joan Baez. I feel ill equipped to deal with the world at times, and I dislike many many things about it. Like cell phone plan pricing structures and mean preschool moms.

  2. Cori

    I don’t hate much… Just words words and smells. I really HATE the words moist, slacks and plop. I also HATE the Bergen St stop on the F Train in Brooklyn–I hold my nose when I walk through it… That’s about it… Oh, and I hate the people who have done horrific things to some of my clients…Yes, I can honestly say I hate them…

    • I’d venture to guess that you hate the things those people have done to your clients and the impact to your client’s lives that those things have done. But if one of those people walked into your office, looking for help, I don’t think you’d hate them. You’d help them. Because then they’d be your client. You are full of LOVE Cori. I know you.

  3. Rhona

    I remember hating lots of people growing up. Bullies, teachers, dogs that bit me. (Okay, a dog is not a person, but in my mind they had the emotional range of a human, and deliberately singled me out for biting which gave me carte blanche to hate them. I was ten. 😉

    My mother (strict and conservative, but very smart and lots of fun)said exactly what yours did! ‘You dislike intensely, but you never hate.’ I thought she was crazy. I thought it was semantics, although I didn’t know the word then, so instead, I told her I’d be a hypocrite to say ‘dislike intensely’ when I really, really, really hated someone, and that was a great argument, because she intensely disliked hypocrisy! But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve understood why it’s almost impossible to actually hate a person, or animal for that matter. You are absolutely right to say that most hateful actions stem from damage of some kind to the person involved. That understanding comes to most people only through experience; we’re so much more judgmental and intolerant when we’re young, just as we’re so completely careless with ourselves because we’re immortal, right? ‘Lord of the Flies’ was terrifying because we all remember how cruel a schoolyard can be without adult supervision. And it’s also why despots and madmen around the world recruit ‘child soldiers’; they haven’t ‘learned’ empathy yet, and will be merciless.

    Wow, I’m going on and on, but I’ll finish by saying that growing older, and ‘becoming your mom’ is no bad thing after all!

    Oh, and I really, really, really hate woodlice. I’ve tried liking them. I’ve tried to appreciate how important they are in the broader scheme of things. But I still hate them!

    Great post, Linda!

  4. I hate willful ignorance, racism, sexism, unchecked vanity, liver, slugs wolfing my seedlings, my cats bringing in dead animals, and big businesses that put profits over ethics. And I don’t want to hate people, but sometimes I slip. So I always try to picture the hated person as a baby, because who can hate a baby? But the problem is, that baby turns to a bratty toddler, then a surly teenager in my mind all too fast — and then I’m right back where I started from.

    But it’s still worth it to TRY not to hate. It’s always worth it to try.

    • All very sound things to hate! But notice that the toddler is “bratty” and the teenager “surly,” which I say are “ways of being.” So I think you actually hate those ways of being. Thanks for commenting Mary. I’m glad you reminded me about you… I’m subscribing to your blog right now!

  5. I hate hating people. But sometimes I can’t help it.

    And I wouldn’t say I *hate* the font size on your blog, but I do find it hard to read. And that frustrates me, because what you write is always worth reading.

  6. Rhonda

    I hate ignorance that exists in people who are perfectly capable of growth. Too often, ignorance leads to, well, hate. The really unnecessary and baseless kind.