As we look at mostly love in 2018, allow me to put a twist in your thinking for a moment. It seems hate has been rising up as hot spots all over the world, like so many wildfires that, left to themselves, could be catastrophically devastating.
Have you ever noticed how carelessly and flippantly we use the word “hate?” I use it myself sometimes: “I hate it when that happens” or “I hate mornings without coffee.” Never do I mean actual hate though. In fact, I’ve never hated anyone or anything in my life, as I pray you haven’t either. So, why do we even use the word? What does it really express?
Hate is not even an emotion, though we try to make it into one. It is more of a heart attitude than anything else. It is a response to one’s own anger regarding our personal insecurities. Hate looks for problems where there are none, stirring up trouble and creating the very problems it seeks to rectify. It even tends to “recruit” others who may or may not have had any such previous attitude of their own. The one who “hates” needs only to verbalize their concerns and others seem to flock to their cause like flies on the manure they’re spreading.
“…only someone with great passion about something and compassion that moves them to act on it could have such a response to what they believe are damaging injustices to an individual, a group, or society.”
Are Hate and Love Actually Related?
Contrary to popular belief, hate is not the opposite of love. The opposite of love is apathy. Instead, hate is a kind of wounded love, in a reactionary kind of way. In fact, it is impossible to hate without love. For only someone with great passion about something and compassion that moves them to act on it could have such a response to what they believe are damaging injustices to an individual, a group, or society. Hate tends to lash out, in word or in deed, in the name of protection of what one holds dear, even if what is cherished is in part misunderstood or misguided. Hatred labels other beliefs, opinions, and choices and declares war on those that advocate them unnecessarily. When we hate our enemies, we give them an advantage. A wise man once told me, “when you lose your temper, you lose.” Anger reveals our pain rather than another’s wrong. Anger leads to hate. In a way, the enemy wins when we hate.
Jesus speaks to this issue of hate when, in Matthew 5.43-48, we are told to love our enemies (whoever they are) and pray for those who would seek our downfall or even to do us harm in some way. Sometimes it is difficult to imagine loving or praying for someone who would just as soon kill us as to look at us, but that is part of the answer to the issue of hate. Hate never cures hate and always brings about more problems than it solves. Love is not the opposite of hate, but love can cure and heal hate. True love is generous, giving of itself for the greater good of another without expectation of anything in return.
Hate in any form is not logical and makes absolutely no sense. It accomplishes nothing. It doesn’t even make the hater feel better. Hate truly does lead to the “dark side,” unhinging society and makes us less civilized as a people, as it becomes an ever-growing whirlpool of social terrorism. And as it grows, it becomes increasingly difficult to be freed from its power. Hatred is destruction in the making.
Time to Work Through the Hate
If people are ever going to move forward in life; if you, specifically, hope to find a greater path that finds peace and happiness, we all have to take responsibility to make some changes. There is a lot to do and it takes work. The first step is to build a spirit of cooperation; one that works together, listens, understands, and puts the idea of harming another for causes of hate to even be stricken from our vocabulary. Resolve to love — really love. Resolve to understand the points of views of others, to explore the free exchange of ideas without judgment; resolve to encourage others, to hope, to embrace change when possible, and to celebrate the differences we have with others while standing firm in what you believe. There is no one person on this planet who gets it all right. We all have many things to learn from each other. You may find that the “truth” you were hanging onto may have some tweaks in order.
Let hate have no place in your life. Need some help? Contact me through my website, thepowerofbecoming.com.