Ihave been an emotional wreck lately, so let’s just talk about another emotion, shall we?
Hate, hate, hate. Hate, hate, hate. (Double hate. Loathe entirely.) According to the Penguin Dictionary of Psychology, it is a “deep, enduring, intense emotion expressing animosity, anger and hostility towards a person, group, or object.”
Hate is such an extreme emotion, yet we throw around the word in conversation so flippantly that it loses all of its substance. “I hate that girl, she’s so annoying.” “I hate the Chicago Cubs.” “I hate pineapple on pizza.” (For the record, I am a fan of pineapple on pizza. It’s sweet, tangy and compliments the flavor of the cheese and ham.) These are such insignificant things to have such an intense feeling about.
Sigmund Freud, Austrian psychologist and founder of psychoanalysis, defined hatred as “an ego state that wishes to destroy the source of its unhappiness.” Do you literally want to destroy that thing you claim to hate? Do you really? Do you really want to do that? I highly doubt that you want to obliterate from existence the annoying girl from class, your homework, a sports team or all pineapple from pizza.
Oh, am I mistaken? Do you actually want to get rid of the annoying girl from class, your homework, a sports team or all pineapple from pizza? Fine then. Hate is an appropriate word to describe your feelings.
In current political conversation, it almost seems as if some people really do want to destroy things that they hate. Inflammatory rhetoric is flung from both sides of the spectrum, words like “nasty woman” and “deplorables” are thrown around like candy at a parade. This is especially frightening, considering that some are even acting upon their hatred. Just this Tuesday, a Mississippi church that was predominantly black had their sanctuary burned and vandalized, reading in spray paint “Vote Trump.” This act and others like it are inexcusable. The hateful language we use can quickly transform into hate crimes. And violence only incites more violence.
Personally, I agree with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the topic of hate. He says, “I have decided to stick to love… hate is too great a burden to bear.” Hate is the 250 pound barbell your heart is forced to press. Hate is the ball and chain attached to your mind. Hate is so heavy of a burden.
I urge all of you to cast your hate away in the days leading up to this election. I’m not suggesting that you need to be completely satisfied with everything that’s taking place because I am not. Everyone is justified in disliking some things. But rather than focusing your mind on such an unpleasant emotion, shift your thoughts to a more appropriate emotion; love.
Love is liberating. Love is constructive. Love is transforming. Love is fulfilling.