This is a term heard often, more so even than love, which is itself overused. It’s a word that rolls off the tongue with seemingly little thought or care of the potential power in it. If Dumbledore was right in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and words are our most inexhaustible source of magic then the term ‘hate’ is arguably the darkest in use today.
Do any of us actually know what hate means though? Not the technical dictionary definition, but the true meaning behind the term? Or, just like all the other terms I’ve brought up in this series, is it yet another word from which one derives their own personal perception? I think so. Hate, in my opinion, is what you make it. It’s fickle as love and can come and go at the drop of a hat.
At its most basic level, hate is a severe dislike towards something or someone. It can pass quickly or endure a lifetime. I’m fairly sure we’ve all experienced hate in some form or another, whether we’ve felt hatred towards something or been the object of hatred ourselves. It’s common.
Hate has played a huge part in my life. I’ve hated extremely deeply to the point where I’ve wished misery, suffering, and even death on the object of my loathing. A lot of the time, the hatred I feel is in passing. It’s an instinctive gut reaction most likely driven by my mental health issues. Social anxiety especially causes me to think and wish for terrible things. I don’t feel bad for it because I know it’s a compulsion and one that soon passes once logic takes control, as it invariably does.
I hate a lot of things that I can’t control, again likely due to anxiety. I hate that not a lot of people like my posts on here and on social media, which then causes me to feel bitter and hateful towards those who do get a lot of likes. I hate how everyone loves crap music and crap TV. I hate platitudes in favour of good advice. I hate Manchester City and their paid-for success. I hate a lot of football clubs for being rich actually. I hate money. I hate my job for not paying as much money as I need to improve my life. I hate that I spent my younger years pissing against walls, sleeping with random women, and neglecting my future.
More important than any of the above, I hate myself. I hate what I’ve done to myself. I hate what I am; how I look; how I think. I hate that I fight the tide in almost everything. It’s like whenever society in the main becomes excited about something I purposely go out of my way to oppose it. Don’t get me wrong; I genuinely dislike whatever the masses are wetting themselves over. I can’t help thinking, though, that I’ve conditioned myself to dislike it all before it even happens. I hate that I seem to make my life as difficult as I can for myself both technically and socially.
Self-hate has followed me around for rather a long time. In so many ways, it’s made me something of the bitter and resentful person I can be and frequently am. I’ve been trying to find ways in which to make myself more appealing to myself; my efforts have, thus far, proven to be in vain. There are fleeting moments where I feel a hint of pride and maybe even pat myself on the back; however, in the main, disappointment is the only sensation I experience. I know I should have done so much more with my life than I have. I’ve let myself down big time.
Moving away from me and onto the more general aspects of hate: I actually don’t believe hate is entirely a bad thing. In a lot of ways, it can be very useful. I recall a Honda advert from a while back; a cheery song about hate and how you can use it to improve things. I’ve committed a lot of the song to memory and often find myself humming, whistling, or even singing it.
I think the song possesses a very valid point in that hating something, feeling dissatisfaction, can cause us to work on making that something better, so that we no longer hate whatever it is. As I said earlier, hate is fickle and can easily be transformed into love with just a few tweaks here and there (at least when it comes to aesthetic love—not so much where a person is involved as it would negate my views in the love article).
Hate, like love, is an artificial, secondary emotion that’s brought about by a mixture of other core emotions. It is, nevertheless, a powerful thing and can drive people to act in dangerously impulsive ways. It can cause a person to hurt another, whether psychologically or physically. It can cause a person to kill. If not managed correctly, hate left to run roughshod can be the reason very bad things happen. It’s the reason bad things have happened.
There’s a campaign taking place in schools nowadays to teach children not to hate. It teaches them to be tolerant and accepting of all walks of life, to love what’s different rather than fear it. It’s good that this is happening (it has its downsides, such as pushing of certain agendas, something of which I’m convinced is going on) and schools have the obligation to show children that it’s easier to get to the future together rather than divided. The problem is that kids don’t learn hate in school. They learn it at home and at places of worship. They tend to hate whatever their parents hate and/or whatever the priest, rabbi, imam, etc., tells them they should hate. Schools only have so much power and it’s remiss of us to expect that the burden of education regarding hate lies solely with them. We all have a responsibility to show children the bad that hate can do and not to hate simply because something or someone doesn’t match our beliefs and ideologies.
You can’t eradicate hate; it isn’t going to go away. I think ridding ourselves of it would be a detrimental thing anyway. It can be useful. What society needs is to be taught how to harness hate and use it properly for the powers of good rather than evil. And that should bring me on nicely to my next topic…