After writing the previous post I remembered an article I wrote a few years ago when I had an adult writing group. The word we choose to write about one day was HATE. The following is what I wrote.
Hate is such an ugly word, but it is after all only a word. It is the feeling behind the word that gets us in trouble. I distinctly remember shouting, "I hate her" when complaining to my grandmother about a former classmate. I was a teenager riding in the back seat of her car at the time. She immediately turned around and quietly said, "You don't hate anyone".
That simple response has stuck in my mind my whole life. I try not to use the word at all although occasionally it pops out. For instance my recent utterance, "I hate this snow", was the result of not looking past the icy roads that kept me a prisoner to appreciate the pristine beauty it left.
According to Webster hate is "having a strong dislike or ill will toward a person or thing". My definition of hate is a person who is unwilling to open their mind and heart to something beyond what is normal for them. For me the word hate brings up the word prejudice. That word quickly moves on to race, color, religion, economic status and anything else that categorizes a person or group of people. Hate has started many wars between people and nations because they cannot accept each other as is.
I feel very fortunate to have grown up without hate as a daily experience. The people around me come from all walks of life, some are rich some poor, some are black some white and every color in between; some are religious and some are spiritual. I am grateful for the opportunity I have been given to learn from each one. They have all brought something different to my life and provided opportunities for me to evolve.
I do not consider any entity below or above me and so there is no reason to hate or be jealous of what anyone else has. We all came from the same source with our very own guidance system. To my knowledge we are all going back to whence we came when we are finished walking our paths on this planet called earth.
Of course, there is that occasional person who expresses hate/dislike toward me. Others sometimes don't like what I say, think or do. When that happens I have two choices. I can buy into that they believe, causing even more hate, or simply ignore them; realizing that it is after all, their problem, not mine. I don't mean to give the impression that I have never expressed anger at someone's behavior, but temporary anger is a long way from hate. While still in the infant stage it can be dealt with by communicating, providing both parties are willing to listen and be heard.
Hate is a learned behavior and it can be unlearned.
Apparently my grandmother did a very good job with me in her simple response to my hateful behavior way back then by responding, "You don't hate anyone". Thanks Nana you did good!