Hatred has no positive result
By Michael O'Hare
Published: Thursday, June 20, 2013, 8:55 p.m.
What do you think about hatred?
Its very existence has always fascinated me.
My interest began as a boy when I told my Mother that I hated somebody or something. I can't remember if it was another kid or a food or otherwise.
“Oh,” she said. “You don't hate anything.”
Mom never used the phrase “love thy enemy,” nor “turn the other cheek,” but when I did hear them I thought it was somehow related to her teaching about hatred. Yet there was more to it: She was telling me that hatred wasn't good for me.
She was the one who advised me to simply ignore a neighborhood kid who would shout out teasing remarks when we walked to school. I watched him out of the corner of my eye when he shouted and I could see it was driving him crazy when his taunts produced no anger in me. And, of course, in later life we were friends.
I must admit to using the word “hate” in my life, but I always accompany it with the unarticulated thought that, “Well, I don't really hate.. (whatever it was I said I hated).”
Hatred really has no place in the world. If anything is evil, then it is hate.
Most sages will tell you (if you know any sages?) that hatred is simply a reflection of one's own inability to cope with life.
Hatred festers. It does horrible things to the person in whom it exists and that is generally not the effect that the hater is hoping to achieve.
From the observation platform that has been afforded me by years in the newspaper business, I have come to think that people like to be angry, more than they will admit at least.
And that anger often makes news. If you disagree just read any stories datelined WASHINGTON.
But in a larger sense, when anger digresses into hatred (however you define it), it is not a good thing. It produces bigotry, misunderstanding and -- in its worst incarnation -- war.
There are no word police -- nor should there ever be -- but hatred would be a good word to somehow eliminate from our language, and not just because my Mother told me so.
Hatred reflects a lack of understanding, or even a personality anomaly in the hater. I think those who claim to hate another or others simply has his or her own self-esteem issues.
Culture is probably the worst culprit in making us think that we hate, and it can start quite young. Seems when we are children we want to fit it so we decide to agree to hate the things or the people that our fellow kids say they hate. In truth, we are too young to hate.
Funny, how love is not more often the common ingredient in bringing people together. Or perhaps that is not so funny.
Speaking of funny, humor may well be an anecdote to hating. Hatred pops up when we take ourselves too seriously.
People who claim to hate those in ethnic groups or members of religions other than their own seem to have no sense of humor when it comes to such things. They can offer no credible arguments to defend their hatreds because defending hatred is -- simply put -- like trying to defend a preference for a certain food over another. Hatred is internal, it does not communicate well.
In practice, however, it seem that people who claim to hate do not try to be rational. They are angry and apparently feel their anger needs to be vented without explanation.
Those who claim to hate are wont to call news reporters because they want a “story” done that will encourage others to be angry and perhaps hate the perceived opposition, foolishly concluding that anger and the hatred it instills will produce a result.
It will not. I have never seen hatred come to a positive end. It is impossible.
Meandering appears Fridays. To share your thoughts on this column (or on most anything) with News Editor Mike O'Hare, write to the Leader Times, P.O. Box 978, Kittanning, PA 16201 or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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