I wonder … what does it feel like. I can’t remember anymore. I’m not sure I ever knew what it feels like. I do remember being extremely angry at people who did me wrong when I was younger, but it was so long ago. I don’t remember ever hating anyone that I didn’t even know, but I see a lot of people that hate others because of what they see. Without working side by side, without eating together, and without even a word spoken.
I don’t understand such hatred. Some people seem to hate, blindly, anyone and anything that they don’t understand or that isn’t familiar. I have always been curious, perhaps too curious at times, and I revel in different languages and cultures. I love to try to figure out what is important to people who did not grow up with the same priorities as were present in my household. I suppose this serves me well as a teacher, but it leaves me with so many questions.
verb (used with object)
1. to dislike intensely or passionately; feel extreme aversion for or extreme hostility toward; detest: to hate the enemy; to hate bigotry.
Is it fear? Is it the fear of being wrong or the fear of not understanding the situation? Is it just the fear of something different? What makes a man look at another man and fear his skin or his eyes while concurrantly vehemently denying that there is any fear at all?
In my brief (brief means wikipedia for me…) reading, I found mainly allusions to the urge to withdraw from something that is bad. But what is bad about people who speak a different language or eat different food or have a different color. In some religions, it is only ok to hate evil. But that leaves things wide open to interpretation. What is evil? My interpretation is that there is very little evil on Earth. Evil lives in the human heart. Evil is mostly an illusion. Animals are not evil. Plants are certainly not evil. Only people can be evil … or good for that matter. And maybe dogs. At least that is what my anecdotal observations seem to convince me is the popular understanding.
This might explain why so many people ‘hate’ other people, but do not seem to have any particular emotional revulsion to poison ivy or mountain lions, both of which are arguably more dangerous that a person speaking another language. The people that hate don’t seem to hate oleanders or cobras, which are easily more dangerous than a person with lighter skin.
Is this a cultural leftover from our hunter/gatherer tribe days? Does it come from one bad experience that gets passed down through generations? Is it simply born out of ignorance? Many of the people who proclaim to hate others do seem fairly narrowly educated, but I’m not fooled. I’ve seen a few, and I believe there are many more, people that hate that are well educated and current with world events. They are just good at hiding it. And for good reason. I live in the United States, where it is becoming much less popular to hate other people. This is a drastic departure from the past.
But in other parts of the world, I’m sure it is quite different. I saw a chart the other day that was about the percentage of women who feel that a husband has the right to hit his wife and to my great surprise, there were countries where over 90% of women think that it is ok for men to beat them up. Now I don’t think this is the same thing as hatred, and I’m not trying to compare this cultural view in any way, but it was a wonderful reminder of how drastically different things are in other cultures and how much I really don’t know. I cannot really understand what it is like to live in another country, but I’m trying to learn, to understand.
I don’t really believe that love and hate are opposites, either, like some people seem to claim. They do not seem related to me. Hate does not seem like anti-love. I think they come from a different place in the heart and soul. I think it is just convenient to portray them as opposite. It seems more likely that compassion or understanding are the closest things to the opposite of hatred.
So what is hate? At this point, I’m no closer to figuring out what causes such a debilitating affliction. It could be a holdover from religious conquests, an ancient fear originally designed to protect, or just a bunch of idiots with closed minds and dead hearts. Maybe I’ll find the answer some day. Until then, I live and learn.
- love to hate or hate to love or just love and hate (sweatpantsandeggplants.com)
- Visionkeeper – What We’ve Been Taught – 16 March 2012 (lucas2012infos.wordpress.com)
- What Does It Mean to Hate Someone? (rinth89.wordpress.com)