Posted on 20 May 2015
I have been frequently seeing and hearing people use the word “hate”. A lot of it trivial like, “I hate banana yoghurt”. Some more significant like, “I hate climate-deniers”. I wish people would think about what they are doing when they hate something.
Here is a list of things people hate:
I’ve heard people go into great details as to why they hate a food and put on a great show of various “yuck” faces. They will ask you how you can posssibly eat that stuff. I wonder if this bit of theatre is really about hating a food or rallying for personal support. If they can get you to hate a thing, then it justifies their hating it. They don’t feel like an outsider for not enjoying something that others are. All of this is done with musical taste as well. Perhaps they need the personal strength to accept difference: their own and others.
Wesley Crusher is a character from Star Trek: The Next Generation. This character was largely hated by Star Trek fandom. He was put in to be the bridging character for a young audience. The problem was his portrayal seemed patronising. Other characters in media will be hated because they are feminist or anti-feminist portrayals, they represent politics we don’t like, they are unpleasant and flawed.
Stories best serve their purposes when they honestly portray human emotion and human behaviour. Anything less becomes manipulative. Therefore, you should expect characters to be flawed. Hating them for this flaw when it is crucial to good storytelling is nonsensical. You need to look at the bigger picture. Sometimes a character is badly conceived and written, like perhaps Wesley Crusher. Hating Wesley Crusher is a waste of effort. You should be annoyed with the writers, directors, and producers. Wesley is a fiction, hating him achieves nothing whereas writing an email to the people who created him, explaining why you have problems with how this character is portrayed, is a more meaningful act. Otherwise, if you really hate these characters that much, stop watching the show or reading the book. It’s that simple.
Some of this goes back to banana yoghurt: a person will hate cats for preference reasons and wants others to conform to their viewpoint for validation. It’s understandable if someone does not wish to be in the proximity of a cat because of allergies. The dislike arises because of the discomfort it brings. However, this is not a personal act perpetrated by the cat upon the person. The same would be true for dog, horse, or gerbil allergies.
One of the more revealing things you can do is ask someone why they hate cats. You will get reasons like: they are unpredictable, they don’t do as they are told, they don’t give me unconditional love. The reasons are often the same as ones given as to why some men hate women. Sometimes it’s because cats don’t lend themselves to being dominated. What kind of person needs that sort of validation? The unconditional love one always has me scratching my head. If you want unconditional love, why aren’t you giving it?
The most justifiable reason for hating cats is the destruction they can inflict upon the environment. However that isn’t the cat’s fault, they are an animal like any other animal, and behave as they biologically need to. That’s a human problem. We need to better manage our pets. Hating an animal is nonsensical. What are you going to do? Make all of one species extinct? I can understand when people feel that way about large predators like sharks, but killing off all of a species may very well damage our capacity to survive, as it damages the ecosystem.
Smoking is a destructive activity. Smoking is killing the person indulging in it. The butts kill animals who accidently eat them and puts poisons into the soil. The smoke is killing friends, family, and strangers who have to inhale its poisons due to proximity. Smoking is incredibly antisocial.
The people who smoke began due to a possible combination of peer pressure and rebellion. They may have wanted to belong to a group representing the type of person they would like to be: tough guys, artists, comedians, intellectual sophisticates, the wealthy smoking on expensive cigars. You would think that alternative peer pressure might reverse that, but cigarettes are an addictive drug. You put the hate on a smoker, they try to stop due to the pressure, find it difficult, then discover they don’t have the personal wherewithal to get past the addiction because you have added to their low self esteem. Those who smoke as a form of rebellion, if you use hatred to stop them, they are just going to smoke harder and in your face.
Once experience passes out of recent affairs and especially when it passes out of living memory, it becomes unreal to many people. I am just old enough to have experienced other children being crippled and put into iron-lungs from polio. I remember how terrified everyone was of this illness. I understand the necessity of vaccination. Even if some risk may be attached, it’s still less of an issue than the physical devastation that comes with the illness. Jonas Salk, the man who developed the polio vaccine, worked for a federally funded university. When asked if he would patent his cure he said, “There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?”
If all our medicines were created with this sort of spirit, I would feel more comfortable about the prescriptions I am given. However, these days the water has become muddied. Large corporations interested in profit rather than your well-being are churning out symptom relievers that may be more dangerous than the symptom they are relieving. I’ve had my own experience with being given a drug for a minor complaint and ending up with a life-threatening side-effect.
So, it’s not surprising that people are angry and concerned about anti-vaxxers threatening our collective health. It’s not surprising that people are angry and distrustful of pharmaceuticals.
When you hate an anti-vaxxer, remember that these are often people who vote for gay rights, are concerned about the climate, want more money going to schools and less to the military industrial complex. In short these are people who are your supporters in many other areas. Why are you alienating them with hatred? How about creating a system whereby they are reassured that you are working in their best interests? How about putting systems in place that better monitor the integrity of research?
Hatred of climate-deniers is pretty much what has helped to create a growing rift in our populations.
People at the top of our cultures may well believe the environment is in danger. However, dealing with the issue will cause them to lose power and status. How many oil corporations do you really expect to honestly look at the problem? Maybe money doesn’t trickle down as per the “trickle down” theory, but fear certainly does. To take care of the environment we will have to use less fossil fuels. Using less fossil fuels means fewer jobs in the oil industry. This means fewer jobs in the car industry and many other industries that rely on oil products. That’s an immediate danger. Whereas climate change will be affecting the grandkids and maybe someone will find a cure in that time without us having to change anything. This is crazy thinking, but it is going through people’s minds.
Frightened people, no matter how smart, are irrational people. You hate them and they just get more frightened, because the threats are mounting. Frightened people aren’t going to change their mind. They are just going to crawl deeper into their holes, quaking in fear.
Domineering egotistical eggheads/Emotionally manipulative egotistical gurus
I can get so mad at both of these sorts that I want to spit tacks. They are both out for power.
Certain eggheads want theirs to be the voice of authority regardless of the subject. They will speak outside of their expertise and expect people to fall down at their feet in agreement. They then get huffy when you question them. They are right in telling you to question the world, but that includes them. They are not magically above reproach, especially when their work is funded by corporate grants. Their behaviour can muddy the waters when it comes to convincing people about real dangers.
Hating these people isn’t helpful because they are capable of useful research. However, we should be expecting more honesty, integrity, and humility from our scientists. Theirs is not the highest calling on the planet. If you want to worship at someone’s feet for the importance of their calling, make sure to send your mom a nice card on Mother’s Day.
We find gurus in business as well as religion and spirituality. They can take something genuinely worth knowing and convince people to come on board to learn more. They can give lonely people a sense of community and a sense of purpose. Once they have you hooked, like some sort of social drug, you are then used to forward their status and agenda.
Negative attention gives these people more power. How big is Westboro Baptist really? How many people are involved with that group? However every time they do something shocking, it makes international news. This makes them feel important. News stations are told not to pump up stories about suicides and mass killers, because it encourages others to do the same. Do what you can to curb these people. Hold out a hand of compassion to the people trapped inside, so they have some hope of getting out.
The sin (but not the sinner)
I can see the point in “hating the sin, but not the sinner”. I dislike smoking, but I don’t dislike the people who are doing the smoking. However, hatred is the wrong word and the aphorism is applied indiscriminately. Do you hate left-handedness, but love the person? Hating something a person is born with is cruel and nonsensical: whether it be skin colour, gender, body-shape, ability, etc. This aphorism is a whitewashed excuse for hatred. It’s smiling with a weapon hidden behind your back. “See! I’m a good person because I am smiling…just remember I have a weapon.”
Hatred is a waste of your energy. You will never be able to use it to make a better world. You will just make your own life darker. If you use hatred to topple a destructive regime, it will be replaced with another destructive regime. Just look at any number of countries who have been in a cycle of violence for generations. Have your preferences: recognise toxic activities but just move away from them and be yourself. You change things by imagining better, by demonstrating better, by finding peace and joy inside yourself and sharing it. Then when you knock over a wall of darkness, you aren’t even looking at it…you are still moving ahead toward that brighter world because it is already in your hands.
Peace and kindness,